Snow White was right: Music makes the workplace

April 25, 2016 | Author: Kristin Guthrie

For Disney’s princess, ‘whistling while you work’ was a way to get seven messy bachelor miners to finally clean up the place. But, as research proves, music’s power extends beyond cartoon fantasies, and can make a real difference in your workplace.

group disucssion

Striking the right chord for business.
The bottom line, according to Dr. Adrian North of University of Leicester, is that adding some kind of music to the modern work environment tends to:

  • Improve productivity in jobs that are repetitive, as well as in jobs that are physically demanding
  • Raise employee morale
  • Improve employee physical health, and reduce absenteeism
  • Improve employees’ willingness to cooperate and work together.

MusicHow can just a few notes have so much power?
Music breaks you out of just one way of thinking,” reports Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami. “It changes the context, and improves your mood”.

In one study of data technology specialists, Dr. Lesiuk found that those who listened to music finished their work assignments more quickly, and came up with better ideas and more innovative solutions than those who didn’t.

MusicLoading up your workplace jukebox.
So what gets played on your workplace jukebox? Hip-hop? Country? Classical? Jazz? Rock? Everyone has different tastes and – very strong opinions.

But it is possible to find music that motivates everyone.

Researchers suggest choosing music without words. Those songs provide benefits without creating a situation where employees are straining to hear or drifting away with the lyrics.

Keep it happy. In a study of more than 250 people working out in a university gym, half heard “happy” music and the other half heard “aggressive” music. As they left the gym, each was asked to hand out flyers on behalf of a disabled athlete association.

From the “happy” group, 55 people were willing to hand out flyers, as compared with just 23 from the “aggressive” group.

Happier. Harder working. Cooperative. The music did its job.

MusicMy take on the research.
Studies now prove what we’ve all long suspected: music has the power to motivate. That’s as true in business as it is in our homes.

Consciously selecting the right kind of sounds can lift spirits, increase productivity, drive innovation, and create a spirit of cooperation.

But don’t lock the power of music away in your plant or office. Look for the places and times your customers feel stress when interacting with your company.

If upbeat music improves the moods of workers, can it do the same for travelers wading through TSA security lines? Or even help shorten retail and restaurant lines, as customers become more attentive, focused, and willing to help each other.

Wherever there’s a problem, see if music can be the key to a happy, productive solution. It worked for Snow White.

Kristin Guthrie

Kristin Guthrie

Kristin Guthrie is the Vice President of Customer Experience for Honeywell Aerospace. She is the advocate for the AT&R customer experience (CX), translating the CX vision into action benefiting customers via multiple channels and touch points. Kristin has over 21 years of leadership experience positioning brands, products, and services in various sectors, including aerospace, home security, and consumer electronics. Kristin has a track record for promoting and building brands with customers, advertisers, strategic partners, and celebrity sponsors. She has received a number of awards for her outstanding success as a marketing professional. Kristin has an MBA from the University of North Texas and a B.S. in Marketing from, Kansas State University. She is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and is also Marketing Leadership Education Program certified.

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