Yes, music does affect productivity in the workplace.
More Info: The first real question when it comes to music playing in a workplace during hours of operation is whether or not the tunes are chosen by the employee(s), or piped in by some third-party source. In the case of the former, a study of more than 250 office workers who were allowed to listen to music of their own choice found that it had a positive effect on worker productivity. The monitored employees had a more positive mood and lower amounts of stress than those in different, non-musically supported circumstances.
Music Positively Influences the Brain
These findings tie into to separate, broader research that has determined the ways in which music can positively impact the human brain. For example, University of California at Irvine students in 1993 who listened to Mozart before taking an IQ test scored eight points higher, on average, than those who didn’t.
Employee Sector Listening to Music
Advances in digital technology have brought a whole new level of complexity to the arena of music in the workplace. There is even, now, the matter of things such as proper iPod workplace etiquette. A recent survey found that technical and creative workers listened to music at least a fifth of the time at work, while management-level executives and higher were far less likely to partake in this habit. At the same time, MP3 players and iPods have been embraced by at the factory and forklift level. The more menial the job, some research has found, the more likely it is that a worker will be wearing a pair of earphones.
But with all this increased use of portable music devices in the workplace has also come greater concern among employers about the security risks and other residual effects of more distracted workers. Ultimately, it depends on the type of work being performed and the attitude of the business owner. Some will never be in favor of personalized work music environments, while others cannot stop singing their praises.
Care2 – “Music in the Workplace: How It Helps”, October 5, 2002, Retrieved November 17, 2010 from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/music-in-workplace-how-it-helps.html
USA Today – “Music Has Charms for Some Workers – Others It Annoys”, March 23, 2006, Retrieved November 17, 2010 from http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/gear/2006-03-23-ipod-work_x.htm