Office Cubicle Music – Please Listen Responsibly
Work is much more enjoyable when you are able to listen to music – the hours pass more quickly when accompanied by a soundtrack. Music is the food of life but at work you have to be mindful of your nearness to others. To this day, whenever I hear a Lucinda Williams song, I get the shakes. 10 years ago, when I worked in an office cubicle farm, my cubicle neighbor listened to ONE Lucinda Williams CD, over and over and over again. He played the same set of songs from 9:00 to 5:00, day in and day out, relentlessly. It was so distracting and annoying! Make it stop!
Don’t get me wrong; I love music and I think listening to certain types of music at work DOES help productivity but it is a personal choice. If you like up-tempo music, bring some in and listen to that. Classical music can also be quite relaxing, which can help you remain attentive and focused on your tasks. In my opinion, to get the best cognitive boost, pick music that doesn’t have lyrics – especially if your job task is word-related. Your brain’s language centers can’t help but decipher the words you’re hearing, which makes it much harder to concentrate on, say, composing an email.
Whatever music you choose to work by, please listen responsibly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Use headphones if you are in close proximity to others. If you have enough personal space to use external speakers, make sure the sound doesn’t carry into other people’s workspaces.
- Keep the volume low enough to hear if your phone rings or someone calls your name.
- If you use speakers, remember to pause the music when talking on the phone. If you are using headphones, remove them when someone approaches to speak with you.
- Don’t sing aloud. In all likelihood, you’re a bigger fan of your voice than your co-workers are.
- Keep the dance moves to a minimum.
Keep in mind that your primary objective in the office should be to work. Sure, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have fun while you are working, but others around you also need to get their work done, too. Showing respect for your co-workers by keeping your music volume low will make it a harmonious place for everyone.