Why you should let your staff listen to dance music

Posted on: June 8th, 2016


If you’re the kind of boss who doesn’t see the need to have music playing in the office, you may have to re-think your approach. And we’re not necessarily talking about playing Mozart or Beethoven to stimulate your workers’ minds; according to a recent study, listening to dance music while at work could help boost employees’ performance and productivity.

As the HR Grapevine recently reported, a study conducted by Mindlab International found that participants performed at their highest speeds and with greater overall accuracy when listening to dance music during a range of work-related tasks. In contrast, they gave their least accurate results when no music was played.

Participants were asked to carry out a series of tasks over five consecutive days, including data entry, abstract reasoning, mathematical word problems, spell-checking and equation solving. In some scenarios music was played, and in others it wasn’t, to test which variable had the most impact on both speed and accuracy.

The test findings clearly revealed that music helped workers to concentrate and work faster, with 88% of participants producing their most accurate results while listening to the tunes, and 81% completing their fastest work.

Perhaps most interestingly, the type of music played gave different results according to certain tasks. For example, classical music was found to improve mathematical accuracy by 12% compared to the no music variable; while pop music increased the speed of data entry by 58% and reduced mistakes by an impressive 14%.

Ambient music (the kind you find in lifts and hotel lobbies) was found to account for the highest accuracy levels during equation tasks. But it was dance music that was found to provide the fastest overall performance for completing the tasks, closely followed by pop music.

Commenting on the findings, neuropsychologist and chairman of Mindlab International, Dr David Lewis, noted that the “take-home message” from the report “is that music is a very powerful management tool if you want to increase not only the efficiency of your workforce but also their mental state, their emotional state – they’re going to become more positive about the work.”

So there you have it! Time to crank the radio up to 11 and turn your office into your very own Ibiza club land. Although saying that, dance music might increase productivity but it’s important to make sure your workplace has the correct licence for listening to music in the office. Visit the government website for more information.

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