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61% of offices don’t permit music – Does yours?

The office playlist can often lead to a heated debate. While some employees prefer to listen to music to get them through their 9-5, others wish to work in utter silence. But, according to new research1, over half (54%) of workers do favour music in the office.

As many offices across the UK prepare to welcome their employees back into the workplace, a new study by Office Furniture Online1 has revealed once and for all whether music really does improve performance, alongside worker’s preferences.

Whilst over half (54%) of workers enjoy listening to music when working, 61% of offices don’t play music out loud for staff to enjoy, despite workers expressing it helps to fill the silence (42%) and increases productivity (35%).

However, a third of workers (32%) claimed that the choice of music in the office has caused arguments between staff, and one in ten people (11%) dislike the music that is played in their office.

Looking at the demographic split for listening to music whilst working, those aged 16-24 and 45-54 (45%) state they always enjoy the music that’s played, the highest percentage out of all age groups. Whereas 19% of 55+ reveal they hardly ever enjoy the music that’s played.

On the other hand, for the 39% of workers whose office permits music, the radio is their preferred source of tunes (42%), 16% also like to listen to podcasts. When asked about their go-to radio stations to get them through the day, BBC Radio 1 takes the top spot (39%) a firm favourite of Gen Z (55%), followed by Capital UK (29%) and Heart UK (28%), despite Heart being crowned the most popular station at the beginning of the year2. Interestingly, BBC Radio 2 is another favoured choice among Gen Z (27%).

The UK’s top office radio stations are as follows:

  • BBC Radio 1 – 39%
  • Capital UK – 29%
  • Heart UK – 28%
  • BBC Radio 2 – 21%
  • Kiss – 16%

As the study uncovers, it’s clear many workers are in favour of music whilst working. But does it, in fact, increase morale? Neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy coach, Rebecca Lockwood, explains:

“When we listen to music it creates an intentional representation in our mind which gives an upbeat feeling. The kind of music you’re listening to will determine how you feel. Listening to music that makes you feel good will have a great impact on your mental health because it creates an internal perception that leaves you feeling good, which in turn boosts office morale. After all, employees generally get a buzz off one another, so if one member of staff is feeling joyous, it’ll have a ripple effect.

“Try, where possible, to opt for upbeat music that won’t create a sense of sadness because this will have a negative effect on your mental health – you’re creating internal perceptions in your mind that you’re not happy which in turn will lead to a drop in productivity levels or distract you from the work you’re doing.”

Mark Taylor, Managing Director of Office Furniture Online, added: “As people return to the office, it’s important to create a sense of harmony, while still ensuring staff are comfortable and productive. Creating a shared office playlist with upbeat, popular songs can help with this.

“However, make sure you speak to your staff to see what their preference is, and if possible, provide them with quiet “break out” areas where they can go to if they need some peace and quiet”.

Want to find out more about the research? Head here: