Study: Music Listening Improves At-Work Performance
October 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM (PT)
A study by MINDLAB INTERNATIONAL found that mine out of 10 workers perform better when listening to music, the TELEGRAPH U.K. reports. Specifically 88% of participants produced their most accurate test results and 81% completed their fastest work when music was playing.
“The take-home message 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,” MINDLAB INTERNATIONAL Chairman and neuropsychologist DR. DAVID LEWIS said.
The 26 participants were given a series of different tasks five days in a row - including spell-checking, equation solving, mathematical word problems, data entry and abstract reasoning -- while listening to one of four music genres or no music at all. The results found the following:
Classical music is best if your work involves numbers or attention to detail; it was also the second-best genre for general accuracy and spellchecking.
Pop music is best if your work involves data entry or working to deadlines, to spell-heck quickly, and, alongside dance music, produced the fastest overall performance for getting work done. It cut mistakes by 14% compared to not listening to music.
Ambient music is best if your work involves solving equations
Dance music is best if your work involves proofreading and problem solving, such as solving equations and tackling tricky mathematical word problems.
The study also found that participants made the most mistakes when not listening to any music at all.