Whether you whistle while you work or listen to it in the background, there’s no denying that music can help the work day go by faster. But before you pack your iPod with your favorite playlists to bring to work tomorrow, you’ll want to become familiar with your company’s views on music.
Relaxation or Distraction?
Whether their views on employees listening to music are informal or official policies, companies take many factors into consideration when deciding on them. One of the biggest factors is whether or not individual music improves or distracts from your productivity. While many studies have shown that listening to music in the workplace improves productivity and while you may personally find it relaxing to listen to music while you work, check with your boss to see whether that activity is smiled on or frowned upon.
If your company approves of listening to music, make sure the kind you want to listen to is OK. Gone are the days when piped-in elevator music ruled the roost. Nowadays it’s all about personalization. Whether you prefer classic rock or groovy style, individualized players (MP3 players, cellphones, etc.) and radio (satellite and Internet) make it possible for you to listen to what you want when you want. But that doesn’t mean it’s always OK to listen to your music at work. Some companies prohibit music with potentially offensive lyrics or intense melodies to keep from offending customers, clients or coworkers. So before you press “play,” find out if any types of music are prohibited at your company to be on the safe side.
Your company may also have regulations surrounding what devices you play music on. Before you download an application to or stream music on your work computer, for example, make sure you’re familiar with your company’s policies on personal use of their computers or any limits on Internet usage. You may be able to play a small radio in an open cubicle space as long as you keep the volume low, or your company may only want you to play it on a personal device.
Keep it Down
In order to keep a peaceful work atmosphere, many companies have policies on noise in general, so check those to see if there’s any mention of music volume. To be sure your music isn’t distracting others, make sure you keep the volume within any established company parameters. And no matter how tempting it is to sing along with your favorite tunes, try to hold back.
Jennafer Martin has more than 14 years of experience in writing, editing and brand management for literary, business-to-business and consumer publications. She is a writer for Zoe Soul Spa and "Pets in the City" magazine.