Workplace essentials: paper clips, coffee maker, pens…speakers?

Here at the Moose headquarters, music is a daily presence. Whether it’s Spotify or Jim’s whistling (usually both), we’re always tapping our hooves to something. We got to wondering – what role, if any, does music play in the creative process? Does it help or hinder productivity at the office? We did some good old Googling, and here’s what our research had to say.

  • Mozart, shmozart.

    It turns out, the myth that Mozart makes ya smarter isn’t necessarily true. In Rauscher’s famous 1993 experiment, subjects performed better on tests when listening to Mozart simply because most people enjoy Mozart’s tunes – who wouldn’t? Cognitive performance can increase when listening to any music, so long as it’s music you enjoy! Lucky for us, our team has similar (read: good) music tastes.

  • Not so fast!

    No, literally. Playing music you like isn’t so helpful if the tempo is too quick. Sorry, Eminem – looks like you’re gonna have to sit this one out. According to Spotify-commissioned research conducted in 2013, the ideal “focus music” is upbeat and measures 50-80 beats per minute. It’s also important to note that background music shouldn’t be too loud or quiet. Rather, the perfect ambient noise for enhancing creative thinking is around 70 decibels (about as loud as a shower). Lastly, music with repetitive elements makes the best brain-fuel. It’s all in the details!

  • Wanderlust.

    So, what’s with all the rules? Why are some kinds of music better for productivity than others? Simply put, repetitive, relaxing music at a moderate noise level is the least likely to be distracting. This allows our mind to go into “wandering mode.” Though it may sound like a bad thing, wandering mode is actually where most of our creativity happens! Think of it this way: you’ve been struggling to come up with a good blog topic for about an hour, and finally give up. Then, as you’re out for lunch later that day, EUREKA! You’ve got it. Ironically, our best ideas come to us when we aren’t busy obsessing over the problem.

  • Don’t worry, be happy.

    We pride ourselves in fostering a positive work culture. It turns out, tunes contribute to this big time! There is a slew of scientific evidence showing music has the power to reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. So, music at work can help people relax in high-pressure situations. Music can also trigger reward-related neural activity, which results in a morale boost. As you could probably guess, happy employees are healthier and more productive than those in a negative work environment. Check out this Music Oomph article to find out more ways music can help reduce stress.

Needless to say, we won’t be sitting in silence anytime soon.


Music not quite enough for your creative needs?
The Moose can help you march to the beat of a different drum.

Chartreuse Moose is a creative marketing agency located in Downtown Raleigh, NC.


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