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Majority of HR professionals believe music is motivational at work

7 Sep 2017 By Georgi Gyton

Ed Sheeran most popular artist to play in the office, but Eminem the least acceptable

More than half (57 per cent) of HR and recruitment professionals feel music motivates them at work, according to research published today by LinkedIn and Spotify.

The study, which looked into the divisive nature of music at work, also found that office tunes had a calming effect on 49 per cent of HR professionals, and helped 40 per cent to be more creative.

Ed Sheeran was voted the “most appropriate popular artist to play at work”, getting the thumbs up from 42 per cent of workers overall. Coldplay came in at number two (28 per cent) and Bruno Mars was third (19 per cent), while Eminem was viewed as the least acceptable.

Pop topped the charts as the most popular genre (55 per cent), but 15 per cent of recruitment professionals picked metal as their music of choice in the workplace. Salespeople were most likely to choose country (15 per cent) and marketing professionals were fond of a bit of reggae (19 per cent). Rap music was the least popular choice.

At the time of writing, People Management’s Twitter poll of HR professionals showed ‘pop/indie’ as the clear music category favourite, with 51 per cent of the vote. Classical was second with 19 per cent, and rap third on 14 per cent, while 16 per cent preferred no music at all.

Productivity was the main reason given for listening to music at work, cited by 73 per cent of all UK workers polled in the LinkedIn/Spotify study. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of employees said music kept them motivated, 41 per cent thought it helped them stay relaxed and 34 per cent felt it boosted their creativity.

Employees also said they used music to drown out the sound of their colleagues. However, experts advised staff to be considerate of their co-workers’ preferences – and to check company rules first.

“Talk to your line manager to find out if there is an official company policy on listening to music,” said music psychologist Dr Hauke Egermann. “While headphones are generally favoured, some workplaces ban them as it’s considered anti-social.”

The research also highlighted the potential damage playing music at work can do to an employee’s standing – one in 10 UK workers admitted to judging their colleagues based on their musical preferences.

And although 17 per cent said it was rude to impose music choices on others without checking first, only 8 per cent said they would make a fuss if a colleague’s music was bothering them.

“How we behave in the workplace plays a huge role in developing our professional brand, so it’s important to remember what you want to communicate about yourself to others,” said Darain Faraz, careers expert at LinkedIn.

Think about what you want to project and “make sure your music tastes, and attitudes towards others, reflect it,” added Egermann.

Let us know your views. Tweet us at @PeopleMgt and take our poll on which genre of music you prefer to listen to in the office

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