by Suzy Greene. Heady NJ.

As your neighbor in the next cubicle chatters away on the phone, your headphones become a very appealing therapeutic escape from the stresses of the day.

Music has increasingly become a part of the modern-day work session. You might even be rocking out to music while you read this – but what type of music should you use for different workday tasks?

Repetitive Tasks

Example: Responding to emails

Music Recommendations:

  • Upbeat tunes
  • Your favorite music

Free Playlist: Good Morning, Better Day! Playlist on Spotify

How Does It Help? Clearly defined or repetitive tasks can often seem monotonous and cause people to disengage. Research suggests that music is useful because it either helps people focus or it lifts their mood during the task.

Creative Tasks

Example: Collateral creation

Music Recommendation:

  • Ambient Electronica
  • White Noise

Free Playlist: Ambient Electronica playlist on Spotify

How Does It Help? With riding popularity of open office, some find the chatter too much to handle. In a noisy workplace, music may be an escape. Researchers have shown that a moderate noise level of ambient music or noise can get creative juices flowing. White noise like rain or ocean sounds are very popular.

Concentration-Based Tasks

Example: Data analysis and reporting


  • Familiar Songs
  • Low-Key Classical Music
  • Video Game Music

Free Playlist: Focus. Classical and Electronic playlist on Spotify

How Does It Help? New music is surprising; since you don’t know what to expect, you are inclined to listen closely to see what comes next. With familiar music, you know what lies ahead and thus the sound doesn’t become your primary focus. Composers for games – and classical music composers – understand and know how to create music that blends in to the background.

Try different playlists to get ones that fits you and the unique moments in your life. And don’t be afraid to turn the music off. If a task is so demanding that your attention might falter due to any music at all, you should focus on creating a very quiet workplace. Give Office Soundscape on Spotify a try to create a focus-rich natural environment.

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