You might think classical music would have a relaxing effect on a team, but the researchers discovered that’s not necessarily the case. The type of music isn’t what relaxes people. What relaxes them is having control over the music that’s played. In other words, employees want to be the ones who determine the tunes that are aired rather than having their bosses play Bach in a misguided attempt at relaxation.
The same researchers also wanted to learn more about the reasons why some people are reluctant to listen to music at work. Four themes emerged.
- Work performance: Some employees felt as though music was a distraction, making it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand.
- Concern for colleagues: For others, the issue was less about how music affected them personally and more about how it distracted co-workers.
- Personal image: Some people liked the idea of listening to music but chose not to do so because they were worried their bosses or clients would think they were unprofessional.
- Individual preferences: And finally there was the issue of musical taste. What one person loves, another might detest, and that was enough to make some employees opt out of music to avoid any conflict.