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Does Music Make Us More Productive At Work?

January 10, 2020

“Just whistle while you work
And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place
So hum a merry tune
It won't take long when there's a song to help you set the pace.”

We all know the classic Disney lyrics about whistling while we work, but have you ever thought about how true they are when it comes to your productivity at work? 

After doing some more research (rather than just looking at the lyrics from a movie made in 1944), we found that listening to music at work is a slightly controversial topic. Similarly to the cilantro debate, some people find music at work distracting (tasting like soap) while others get a boost in their productivity (need it to live). Research has shown that if someone is used to listening to music while working, it's often more beneficial than distracting. The reverse is true as well. Here in our office, most of us fall in the seven dwarfs category...we like listening to music while we work. 

We wanted to dig a little deeper and see why some of us get that extra boost of productivity when listening to some tunes. What we found is that, first and foremost, music has the power to improve your mood as the brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes you feel good and reduces stress and anxiety. Not only that, but it can makes repetitive tasks more enjoyable, according to neuroscientist Daniel Levitin.

We also found that the type of music and your music habits affect how much of a productivity boost you get from your playlists. Dr. Haake found that songs with simpler structures -- think acoustic or instrumental -- are easier to listen to while doing work. They also found that lyrics (especially when not familiar) can interrupt your train of thought. 

If you want to give music a try next time you’re in the office, here is our Cosmitto Playlist with some different types of music. As you can see, some of us like instrumental music, a few of us like songs that are really familiar to us, and some of us like music with lyrics that are in a foreign language. It’s for you to find out which works best for your work routine! 

...music has the power to improve your mood as the brain releases the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Hope Perri

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