Playlists for the Office

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Hi again,

Now personally I like to have some music in the background when i’m working. When I worked in some offices, especially open-plan ones, the background noise was such that it became difficult to concentrate so the headphones went on and some tunes were put on – always good to have a playlist for the office.

I don’t know about you but the type of music I play definitely has an impact on productivity, so the question is should we be choosing playlists for the office and are there any benefits to one type of music over another (I’m thinking like playing classical music to babies!)

Music and Productivity

So what’s the ACTUAL impact on productivity? I read this brilliant article over at WebFX and have included some of their info graphic here as it summarizes it much better than I could.

Music 1

It’s amazing to think that 88% of people produce more accurate work when listening to music, that’s a huge number and should be a signal to employers that listening to music should be encouraged rather than discouraged.

Does the Type of Music Have an Impact?

So my other question was is there any correlation to certain types of music? Does listening to thrash metal have a different effect to listening to Take That for example?

Music 2

So from research carried out it’s clear that instrumental music improves accuracy and pop music speeds up data entry tasks for 58% of people and with the added benefit of 14% less mistakes. That is a huge improvement again. I agree that in open-plan offices not only does listening to music help you focus, from the music itself, but it does have the added benefit of drowning out that person who talks REALLY loudly on the phone and those conversations that you don’t want to listen to.

But Why?

So why does music have such a huge impact on us when we are working? Its clear from the research done that music increases productivity, increases speed, and reduces mistakes but what does it do to us that it affects us so much?

Dopamine, of course, the same chemical released when you have a good workout which makes you feel good, a natural high, so unsurprising that music has a similar effect.

You’ll be telling me next that there are health benefits to listening to music………………

OK, I for one have discovered that music increases productivity, increases attention, reduces errors, and also reduces stress and anxiety, decreases pain and aids memory so the question we SHOULD be asking isn’t if we should be listening to music at work or in the home office but why would we not?

I had always thought that music had a positive impact but I, for one, just wasn’t aware of HOW MUCH of a positive impact music has on someone for working.

But, there has to be a downside and I only have to think of the twenty-five year old me blaring “Rage Against The Machine” on the office stereo to remember that not everyone has the same taste in music (as I was quickly told in no uncertain terms) – one person’s Taylor Swift is another person’s Mozart. As some people are equally improved by listening to upbeat pop, another group of people would probably be screaming for it to stop. So it depends on the music and who is listening. That’s why piped music in shops tends to be equally annoying as it is enjoyable (this tends to be 10% enjoyable to 90% annoying as you get closer to Christmas!)

But we are not speaking about open-plan offices here, we are talking about the home office so its perfect as you can play what you like and what motivates you personally without fear of being told to “get that f**king racket off!” (back to twenty-five year old me) – ah, happy days!

If you’re thinking of getting a speaker for the Home Office, then I can thoroughly recommend Sonos speakers. I have an article here about Christmas gifts which I include the speakers, they are brilliant and I have them all over the house.

Looking for Spotify Playlist Ideas?

So I’ve looked through a lot of playlists on Spotify and can thoroughly recommend the following which I tend to use a lot at various times – some for those long Mondays and some for those times when concentration is paramount. So in no particular order here are 5 of the playlists I keep going back to when working away in the home office:

1) My first choice is Monday Motivation, as sometimes you just need that little bit of extra push to get going (even after coffee) – includes songs from the likes of The Killers, M People, Primal Scream and Paulo Nutini it’s full of upbeat tunes to keep you going. Lasting just over 6 hours it will take you through most of the day. With over 633K likes it’s got something for everybody. Click on the link embedded or over here to go to the playlist in Spotify : Monday Motivation


2) For my second choice, i’m going to go for one I go to for deep concentration. Sometimes I just need to get something done, no distractions, no lyrics so I put on Music For Concentration. Four hours of background music made up of Mina I list, electronics and modern classical designed to get you concentrating, it’s perfect for those days when you just need to get through it.

3) midweek, when I start flagging I put on the Wednesday Office Mix. More than enough music here to get you through “hump day” with over 11 hours of music including Queen, David Guetta, Kesha, Green Day and even Tina Turner there’s something for everyone and even if you find something you just can’t stand you can easily skip to the next track.

Music 5

4) Come Friday you just want to feel good with the weekend just hours away so I normally go for #Feel Good Friday. Full of upbeat tunes to get your weekend started and the working week over. Everything here from Dario G, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder to Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa and Vampire Weekend.

5) Finally i’m adding this playlist in as I came across it the other week. If you’re really missing that open-plan office vibe then this playlist is perfect. Office Sounds for Working Remotely is 5 hours of background Office sounds to take you right back to those days when you commute into an office in the centre of town. Ah, bliss (or not depending on how you’re feeling).

So there we have it, I hope you’ve found this article interesting. I would love to hear from you on your favorite playlist for the office that gets you through the day. Please share it in the comments below. Do you agree with my choices, let me know.

Whatever you listen to when your working take care, look after yourself and don’t let anyone get you down, you’ve got this!


Simple wfh

4 thoughts on “Playlists for the Office”

  1. Thanks for the playlist suggestions – looking forward to “hump” day selection tomorrow. This is making a welcome change to listening to my local radio and the repetitive advertisements!

    • Hi Barnie,

      Yes I agree, radio is good but I find the talking and the adverts distracting. A playlist, whether from a streaming service, or made up on your own is definitely the way to go when it comes to working and concentrating.

      Let me know how ‘hump day” goes!

      Kind regards,



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