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Music in the workplace - is it harming collaboration?

Music, we all have an affinity and our tastes can vary wildly.

I love music, and find it’s the perfect outlet for almost any emotion, happiness, stress, angry and sadness. There is always a tune to match your mood. According to a survey by design company Woods Bagot, one in five workers now listens to an iPod or similar device at their desk, with just under a quarter of them listening to music for up to three hours each day.

Claire Roper; Music in the Workplace, is it harming collaboration?

Is listening to music on your headphone harming workplace collaboration and relationship building?

In a modern office you will find plenty of your colleagues listening to music during the day, some during their lunch breaks, others while concentrating, and some to block out the noise of the office floor. And herein lines the problem, if you are listening to music all day long are you becoming unapproachable?

If you need to speak to your music loving colleague, there are a couple of obstacles, determining if they are on a phone call, listening to a webinar, or involved in online training.

Not everyone is confident to approach another colleague and if you already have the barrier of headphones, it may cause them to seek out an alternative team member.

Wearing headphones all day can give off the appearance you are not interested in teamwork, collaborating, chatting or even a bit of office banter.

Is it an age thing?

A recent study found that millennials listen to 75 percent more music on a daily basis than baby boomers. What do you think? Are your younger colleagues more inclined to wear headphones all day?

But listening to music all day or for extended periods of time in the workplace is antisocial.

While a bit of music is good for the soul, I feel by wearing headphones all day you can become disconnected from your surroundings, unable to hear the conversation around you, possibly harming your learning & development as well as your relationship building.


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