In a professional office environment, whistling along to the music probably isn’t the best idea. I catch myself doing it…and tapping my feet…and playing the drums with my fingers on my desk. I know fellow Proforma blog contributors Tony Zayas and Kendra Smith can probably hear me doing it, but they’re too nice to tell me to stop. I can’t help it, because thankfully we work in an office where music is being piped in throughout the building all day. Music in the workplace is certainly not the newest of ideas.
In the late 1800s, companies used to employ singers and small orchestras for their worker’s aural enjoyment. Today, regardless of how terrific I think that would be, it may get a little pricey to have bands playing 200+ working days a year at your office. With the advent of radios in the 30’s & 40’s, employers had a much more effective delivery system of music for their employees. This was usually to mask other sounds, but they quickly saw that it was increasing morale and productivity, especially with employees who performed monotonous tasks. Unfortunately, there was one song that had to be banned- “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. Apparently people would stop working and all join in at the handclapping part. That’s understandable as I think my boss would probably frown on everyone in our office teaching each other how to Dougie.
In 2012, you almost have too many options on how your employees can digest music. There are now thousands of commercial satellite radio stations that are available to business owners that can fit any environment. If you feel that your employees can responsibly listen to music at their desks or workstations, you have Spotify, Pandora, and a multitude of other online streaming options where they can listen to the music that they want to, when they want to. Let’s be honest…the latest Justin Beiber tracks pumping through your speakers in the ceiling from your local Top 40 station may not be the best choice when the head accountant starts doing your payroll for the week. No need to make them want to shift some decimal points around. (I know, I know. Easy target. Feel free to replace your buddy Beiber with your least favorite song/musician.)
Here’s a link to Inc.com’s 50 Songs & Albums to listen to at work. I don’t know if it’s an office prank or if Inc. is trying to get their Event Manager canned, but I would NOT recommend N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton” as “Music to Jam to at a Company Party”.