Archive and Search
« In the Name of Glam... | Main | Saints of Los Angeles: The Bring Back Glam! Album Review »

Listen While You Work?

You've heard of whistling while your work...but what about listening?

While I was slowly dying, er...sitting, in my cubicle at work yesterday it dawned on me that I could hear several different radio stations at one time.  The administrative assistant assigned to my corner of the floor was listening to country on a local station and the woman across the way was listening to a CD through her computer. The noise wasn't loud. In fact, I find it sort of normalizing. I don't trust office spaces that are quiet. I truly believe there must be at least a little noise as proof work is actually happening.

Looking back on my career path, I can safely say that listening to music was allowed at every job I've ever held. Of course, I didn't ask about the music policy upfront, I've always just pulled out my headphones and listened. 

I've noticed a pattern when I'm listening to my iPod at work: I tend to pick one album in the morning and just listen on repeat all day. I can't explain this, except that at this point the music really is just background noise because I'm concentrating on work and the stuff I write at my day job is about as far away from Glam as you can get.

My work listening goes in moods, too. Toward the end of my time at the TV station, I was listening to the Heroin Diaries soundtrack for about five hours each day. I love the Heroin Diaries and think it's one of the best albums of this decade...but man, it can be a downer if you're already depressed!

Here lately I've been listening to Avenged Sevenfold's Waking the Fallen a lot at work for the aggressive tempo and kick ass guitar work. Saints of Los Angeles is now at the top of the rotation to help me shut out corporate life.

Here's a funny aside: one of my coworkers who is quite high-up the food chain came to me for some help writing a communication. I had in my earbuds and iPod and the coworker leaned over to see what I was listening to, which happened to be "Dr. Feelgood." His remark "Don't you think you're a little young for Motley Crue?" I cackled a little and said "You have no idea." He looked confused. I digress.

Anyway, I think music really does motivate at work. I can understand if an employer has a headphones only policy, as too many different types of music blaring can create office confusion. Still, giving employees a little music during their day can surely boost morale.

Hell, even Milton Waddams is allowed two hours of music in the morning while collating at Initech. 

Do you listen to music while you work?

Speaking of Milton Waddams, here's my favorite scene from Office Space.

Reader Comments (13)

LOVE Office Space.

I've always had music while I work. Now I work from home, in the same room as all my CDs, with metal posters on all the walls. When I have to go and work in an office, I find it very depressing.
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
I refuse to take a job if I can't listen to my music. That started about 8 years ago. I got lucky in my current job where not only is there just me and my boss, but we're both music buffs and we listen to music all day in our seperate work areas. But, I just can't live without it. It's been prooven that any more than 4 forced hours without music, and I start to get moody. And nobody likes that :P

It only confuses the UPS guy when I'm listening to REM one day, and Metallica the next :)

I also just got done tagging 102 gigs of mp3s, so I have *lots* to listen to now! Where the hell else am I going to listen to 6-8 hours worth of music in one day? :)
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermissy
We are having such limited space at my office that there is no way we can have a radio, the noice level is high enough as it is. Since I'm supposed to pick up the phone, and everyone is always coming up to ask something, there's no way I could use my discman. Very frustrating. :(
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXandra73
Oh yeah I definately listen to music at work..It keeps me sane..HAHAHA!!!
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
Thank god I can listen to music at work. If I couldn't I would certainly die a slow, painful death in my cubicle. Since I haven't gotten many new CDs lately, I end up listening to a lot of talk radio just to change it up a little. But now I have Saints of Los Angeles, so I'll be listening to that constantly. :)
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
I think sometimes being able to listen to music at work is the only thing that gets me through the day. I am also very very grateful that I am able to have online access and listen to online radio such as XM,, and ofcourse syndicated radio programs such as Eddie Trunk (monday mornings on; Hairball John Radio Show (Tuesday afternoons through a radio station in Baltimore) and the Rockline Replay, etc... I don't know what I would do with myself if it was taken away. Now it's time to get my day started as I have one headphone in my left ear and log into xm. 2 weeks till ROK!
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkari
I listen to the Boneyard. Although, I am getting a little sick of their playlist. They really need to mix it up.

And I LOVE Heroin Diaries as well!!! I can't wait to see Sixx: A.M. play live.
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
At work on a receiving dock. I have at least one of these stations on,Stickman Radio, AOL Hair Metal & other independant stations.
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoy
One of the advantages of working at home...nobody argues about the radio/internet station. ;) Where I used to work they insisted on leaving it on an R&B station and of course the radio was next to my desk. I was tech support, so if I couldn't hear the call, I'd have to turn down the radio and that would cause a riot. (R&B Station, for those of you wondering).

Same station used to have "Blue Eyed Soul" (aka: White Wednesday in my office) and nobody could understand why I'd be happy when Bon Jovi came on... ;)
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChessie
I listen to my ipod almost every day at work starting during my lunch break at 1:15 until around 3:00. Frankly, my job would be almost unbearable if I wasn't allowed to.

I'm listening to Frank Zappa & The Mothers right now. That is usually too distracting, but since I'm at work it's perfect for tuning out everything else.

June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Office Space is one of my favorite movies!

For 10 years, I worked 3rd shift. 7 out of my 8 hrs a night was spent with the radio or the headphones on. I could bring in 7 or 8 discs and spin them and be happy as hell.

2 years ago, my boss decided my shift should change from midnight-8am to sucks! At midnight, I put the headphones on and listen to a couple of albums but it's not like it used to be. I've been lucky in the last couple of months because we are understaffed overnight and I have to work a double shift Friday thru Saturday so I'm working 6pm-8am and I get my old listening time back.

Thank god I listen to albums all day! Music is better than TV!

Heavy Metal Addiction
Unfortunately, its just radio where I work. And since its inside a huge metal building, we only get a few stations. So im stuck listening to corporate-rock radio ALL FUCKING DAY... Theres only so much Metallica, Godsmack, Nickelback, System of a Down, Linkin Park, etc, etc, etc, a man can take... KILL ME!!!!!
June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
I used to listen to a lot of Pantera, Black Label Society and Motörhead at work.. It just gets me through a hard day like nothing else..
June 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterInknsleaze

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.