There are few joys in the world that can bring people together like music. While preferences will vary and it might be hard to get a team to agree, music helps us to feel alive. Keep the playing field fair by allowing each team player to choose the genre to be played on the office music system for a designated amount of time. Or you can turn it up loud and take a music dance break where you forward the company phone lines, get out of your cubicle, close the break room door and just let everyone rock out in their own way.
Did you know that listening to music can reduce stress, boost your immune system, make you smarter, and even make you a better communicator? It’s no wonder the Seven Dwarfs in Snow White encouraged each other to “whistle while you work!”
Work can, at times, be stressful, boring, overwhelming, frustrating, any number of things. When employees are bored or stressed, productivity decreases and their mind often wonders to non-work related things, like watching that cute cat video their friend sent them. Sure, watching a quick 30-second video every once in a while isn’t the end of the world, but when employees are perpetually finding themselves engaging in something off-task, it needs to be addressed.
As a leader, part of your responsibility to your team is to identify and effectively address potential problems or issues before they become insurmountable. Look around at your team. If you notice that they are bleary-eyed and staring off into space, it’s time to intervene. One thing that can help with concentration and avoiding distractions at work is music! In fact, research has found that 90% of workers perform better when listening to music.
This week, I challenge you to brainstorm ways you can incorporate music into your work environment. If you have a PA system that plays music, perhaps you can create a lottery that allows the “winner” to select which channel of music is played for a certain amount of time. Maybe you can dig out that old boombox, have your team bring in their favorite CD, and organize a quick, fun game of “Name That Tune.” Or if you have a decent amount of team members who are fans of the same artist, you could organize a watch party for the release of their latest music video. And don’t forget, a good old fashioned dance party never goes out of style!
FUN FACT: Researchers studying a modern human settlement in southern Germany found flutes made of mammoth ivory and bird bones that date back 40,000, which they believe to be the first musical instruments created.
Bonus: Check out this article on Music and Mindfulness For Stress Reduction!