Most Workers in Canada Like Listening to Music at Work and Are More Productive When They Do, Survey Shows

More than three-quarters of workers able to listen to music at work enjoy it

  • Younger workers most apt to enjoy tunes while working
  • 61 per cent of employees at least somewhat more productive when listening to music
  • Top genres that boost staff productivity: Pop, rock, alternative and classical

Toronto, ON Silence may be golden, but most workers in Canada feel they’re more productive at the office when listening to music, new research from staffing firm Accountemps shows. Seventy-seven per cent of survey respondents who are able to do so say they enjoy turning on the tunes at work. Those ages 18 to 34 are most inclined to listen to music at work (87 per cent), followed by those 35-54 years of age (73 per cent) and employees 55 and older (57 per cent).

More than three in five (61 per cent) professionals said they are at least somewhat more productive when music is playing at the office, with pop, rock, alternative and classical songs providing the biggest boost.

Workers were asked, Does your employer have a policy about employees listening to music at work?” Their responses:

Yes – it is allowed, and there are no restrictions.

41%

Yes – it is allowed, but there are restrictions (e.g., workers must wear headphones).

30%

No – it is not allowed.

11%

I don’t know.

18%

 

100%

 

Workers who can listen to music at work were also asked, “Are you more or less productive at work when music is playing?” Their responses:

Much more productive

29%

Somewhat more productive

32%

Somewhat less productive

8%

Not productive at all

3%

Has no impact on my productivity

  28%

 

100%

 

View infographics showing how music affects workers’ productivity and the types of tunes that help the most.

 

“For many professionals, listening to music at work is relaxing, helps to limit distractions, and can boost focus and productivity, particularly in busier office settings,” said David King, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Out of respect for colleagues, it’s important that workers who listen to music keep volume levels in check and remove their headphones regularly to show they are available, open and responsive.”

Accountemps offers the following do’s and don’ts when it comes to listening to music at work:

DO

DON’T

When listening to any type of audio at work, be respectful of your colleagues, who may not share the same tastes as you.

 

Sing or hum along to your favourite tunes. Tapping your hands or feet will likely annoy colleagues, too.

 

Keep the volume low enough to hear your phone ring or someone calling your name.

 

Have music blaring when communicating with coworkers. They deserve your full attention.  

Use headphones if you work in a shared office space to avoid disrupting coworkers. When someone approaches you, be quick to respond to them. 

Abuse the privilege. Consider listening to music when the office isn’t busy or you’re doing solo work.  

 

About the Research

The online survey was developed by Accountemps and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 400 Canadian workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments. 

 

About Accountemps

Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The staffing firm has more than 300 locations worldwide. More resources, including job search services and the company's blog, can be found at roberthalf.ca/accountemps.

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