Does Music In The Workplace Drive Productivity?

Silence is Golden. It’s an age-old proverb that most companies around the world have subscribed to time and time again, often believing that rather than serving as a motivator, music in the workplace is more of a distraction. But let’s be honest here –– for even the most tranquil of employees, it can be hard to resist the urge to tap your feet or hum your favorite tune in your head while working.

Regardless of if you’re working from home or in an office, we can all agree that the goal is the same: maximum productivity. A recent year-long study from Spotify revealed that whether you are working, going for a walk, or looking to fuel your creativity, music is the No. 1 productivity booster. The survey conducted by the digital music platform yielded responses from more than 4,000 participants citing that for 80% of respondents, listening to music helps them to focus, tune out distractions and create their own space. The study also found that 87% of people believe that productivity touches every aspect of their lives from work and creative pursuits to managing a home and caring for a family. While these may be harsh statistics for your left-brained peers to face, numbers don’t lie.

Here’s the adage that we believe: where words fail, music speaks. Nothing is better than music that inspires you and drives your creativity, though, searching for the perfect musical mix or ultimate productivity playlist can be tough. If that’s you too, don’t worry, you’re not alone!

In fact, nearly a quarter of survey respondents said that they struggle to find the perfect audio. About 75% of survey respondents agreed that the type of music that they select must be tailored to the activity that they are doing to help them get in the right state of mind. From classical and blues to rock-and-roll and soul, the options are endless when it comes to finding the right track to scratch your creative itch.

Here’s what our Raven Creative team listens to throughout the week to help us get in the zone and stay motivated.

Raven, Raven Creative President and Founder

Much like the day-to-day of a business owner, my Spotify playlist is something of a roller coaster. It changes frequently based on my mood, my energy level and my to-do list.

Some of my go-to artists are Leon Bridges, Chris Stapleton, Lorde and of course, Taylor Swift. I’m also actually loving the new AI DJ on Spotify – he knows me so well! If I’m writing content or really need focus, I’ll pivot to one of the instrumental playlists like Focus Flow or Low-fi Beats.

When I need an extra spark of inspiration, nothing gets me over the hump quite like “How I Built This with Guy Raz.” It’s an incredible podcast where the host interviews highly successful entrepreneurs as they share the story behind their businesses. From Kendra Scott packing jewelry boxes at her dining room table to Airbnb founders sleeping on an air mattress, it’s a great reminder that every business starts with the tiniest spark of an idea and grows through a lot of grit and perseverance.

Suzanne, Graphic Design Team Lead

If you’re talking graphic design, you’re speaking my language, but I also believe in the power of conversation in all things. I’m no early bird, but there are two podcasts that help to awaken my mind each day: NPR’s “Up First” and “The Daily.” I love catching up on the latest news headlines and reports first and then comes the music. I usually listen to curated playlists on Apple Music with my go-to choices being “Chillwave Essentials” and Indie Folk. I also love creating stations based on a random artist or song – usually Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, New Order or Lord Huron will get me the perfect station to fuel my creative fire.

If, like me, you love a good rhythm and blues era playlist, then you’ll appreciate my newly discovered hack: if you create a station based on the “Pink Panther” movie soundtrack (stay with me here, I know that’s random), you’ll get an amazing mix of jazzy songs from 1950s movies. Thank me later!

Aditya, Graphic Designer

I love listening to music while working. I think it helps me drown out the surrounding sounds and really focus on the work at hand. I feel that I am my most productive self in the mornings and typically you will find me listening to some high energy upbeat music to get me going and kickstart my day. I naturally gravitate more towards rap music and some of my go-to artists right now are Don Toliver, Travis Scott and The Weeknd. As the day progresses, I might switch over to some lo-fi beats or a podcast. I am currently really into the “Complex Sneakers Podcast” –– it does a good job of capturing the overall essence of the week covering everything from sports, music, design, fashion and more.

Kaylee, Junior Brand Marketing Coordinator

In the office, you will find me with music in my ears 90% of the time I’m working. I like to be inspired by the creative avenues that my favorite artists take, and weave that into my own workflow. My very own Spotify profile has a theme of glitter and gold, so there is no telling which playlist will catch my eye from day to day.

My go-to is Taylor Swift. She has an album for every type of mood and her creativity with lyrics inspires me to build my personal dictionary when writing content, although my personal favorite for the workplace would be her Evermore album. I also have a Good Vibes playlist that I keep handy to boost my mood whenever I need it.

Shelbe, Content Manager 

I know there is often the debate of whether music truly does motivate you while in the workplace. There are those that are moved by silence, and they thrive off natural sounds ––spoiler alert, that totally is not me! For me, music is the butter to my bread when I’m in the workplace. It is that extra spark that wakes me up and keeps me moving.

I love music that gives me the feels and takes me on a journey. Any day of the week, you can find me at my desk listening to any cozy coffee house playlist on Spotify.

There is just something about the mellow sounds of acoustic music playing that makes me feel as if I am in my favorite coffee house, curled up in a corner with a good book and a hot cup of chamomile tea. It puts me in the ultimate mood to write my heart out!

Brenda, Account Manager

For me, it’s all about positive emotions. Bringing back the good memories of past experiences is energizing for me.

My current go-to playlist is “Chagall, Paris – New York” on Spotify. Whether I’m cooking, taking a walk, or working on projects, I’m always listening to it. “Chagall, Paris – New York” includes beautiful orchestral classicals where the piano, flute and French horn take over your senses.

This playlist brings back memories of a day when I went to see an immersive exposition of Chagall’s paintings. All these songs were playing in the background as the exhibition was taking place, so listening to it takes me exactly to that moment of surrealism –– bright colors, flowers, textures, and folklore; a moment when I felt lucky, loved, and happy, and a moment I cherish.