Dance music improves productivity at work, study shows

Listening to electronic music at work increases accuracy and productivity, while classical music helps listeners solve mathematical problems, a new study shows.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 22 Oct 2014
  • min read
According to research from Mindlab International, tuning into dance music helps employees increase their proofreading speed by 20 percent, and delivers a 75 percent spellcheck pass rate, compared with 68 percent when no music is played.

Classical music was found to be the most effective for resolving every day mathematical problems, with participants achieving a 73 percent pass rate when listening to the genre.

The office-based tests were designed by physicists and neuroscientists and conducted across four genres – ambient, classical, dance and pop.

Overall, 88 percent of participants were found to produce their most accurate test results when listening to music, while 81 percent completed their fastest work when music was playing.

Scientists also found that ambient music works best for accurate data entry tasks, with participants scoring a high pass rate of 92 percent, while pop music improves the speed at which people work by 58 percent.

The research, which was commissioned by MusicWorks on behalf of PRS for Music and PPL, also showed that when people do not listen to any music at all they make the most mistakes while solving equations and spellchecking.

Dr David Lewis, chairman of Mindlab International, said: ‘What this research shows is that nine in 10 people work better when they listen to music.

‘The take home message is that music is a powerful management tool if you want to increase not only the efficiency of your workforce but also their mental and emotional state – people are going to become more positive about their work.’

Paul Clements, director of public performance sales at PRS for Music, added: ‘The increase in levels of productivity when music is playing is striking. This project provides a refreshing reminder of the multiple benefits to be gained from listening to music at work.

‘What this study also show is that it’s important to choose the right genre of music to help your teams and business improve productivity.’

Hear more from Lewis and Clements in the video below the infographic.