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.