Headphones at work: The sound of success?

Kevin Bennett

August 23 2019

The use of headphones at work has its supporters and its critics.

Many employees say headphones block outside distractions and make it easier to concentrate on the task at hand, while others say tuning in means tuning out altogether.

When it comes down to the wire, it might just depend on the person.

Rock out or block out?

Before you rule out the idea of employees working to the sound of music, consider their role.

If they’re hidden away in a corner of the office from 9 to 5, a little music will be fine. Or, they might work with customers on the shop floor, a role that requires their fullest attention.

Listening to music while you work can actually have a beneficial effect. One recent survey found that 71% of staff are more productive when they have their headphones on.

Communication breakdown

Communication is a pillar of a successful company. It’s also a pillar of a successful culture.

If you find that headphones are causing a breakdown in communication or a lack of collaboration, cut the cord.

Maintaining an open, vibrant and inclusive culture is crucial to the success of many businesses.

Your workplace

Not all your employees will want to use their headphones at work. For those that do, it’s best to lay out some dos and don’ts in your company policy. You could ask staff to:

  • Keep the volume down. After all, not everyone is into the same music.
  • Use one headphone at a time. That way, colleagues can still get their attention.
  • Introduce a no singing-along rule as it can distract other employees.

Most of the time, headphone use will depend on the employee. If you find it negatively affects their work, it might be time for a chat. If on the other hand, the employee becomes more productive, the music might just be working its magic.

Need our help?

If you would like further complementary advice on headphone use from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call any time day or night. Call us on 0800 917 0771 or request a callback here.

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