From Glastonbury to Glyndebourne summer is music time. Think music think time out. It’s relaxing or fun, sometimes stirring, but it’s not usually something we associate with getting the job done.
But what if we were to tell you that scientific research carried out by Mindlab International on behalf of MusicWorks found that:
- Nine out of 10 workers perform better when listening to music
- 88% of participants produced their most accurate task results
- 81% completed tasks fastest to music
While listening to an ad-filled radio station which plays hit songs on a loop might be distracting – especially if you’re trying to concentrate – it turns out different music is good for doing different stuff.
And, remember the study also found:
- People made the most mistakes at work when not listening to any music at all
But here’s the lowdown on what the study reckoned you should listen to for particular tasks:
- Classical music – for number crunching and other tasks which require attention to detail, like proofreading
- Pop music – for speedier data entry (study participants were 58% faster apparently), quicker spell-checking or making that deadline pronto
- Ambient music – for the accurate completion of tasks involving those pesky equations
- Dance music – for proofreading and problem solving. And, love it or hate it, apparently dance music resulted in the highest overall accuracy and fastest performance across a range of work tasks!
So as festivals fill the fields and the Royal Albert Hall opens its doors to the annual Proms perhaps it’s time to turn up the music and get down to work.
Find out what other studies have to say about music and productivity – including distracting words in music and how nature sounds can help you work better – in this Business Insider article.
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