Listening to music at work

Canada
February 8, 2007 9:22am CST
For those of you who are working in a corporate / office setting, do you listen to music at work? If so, in what form? More and more businesses seem to be instituting policies about not using iPods, mp3 players or other headsets in the workplace. I read an item, just today, where a woman was ranting and raving because her boss told her she can no longer use her ear buds in the office. She wasn't hearing her phone ring and, consequently, was not answering her incoming calls efficiently. To me, that should be a no-brainer, don't you agree? Her boss told her there was no problem with a radio or some form of small, desktop stereo, if she wanted her own music, but no headsets or ear buds that would affect her ability to do her job. What are your thoughts?
7 people like this
18 responses
@shywolf (4520)
• United States
8 Feb 07
Wow.. it sounds to me like that woman's boss was being completely reasonable! I mean, he didn't say that she couldn't have music anymore, just that she wouldn't be allowed to have earphones or ear buds in her ears that would cause her not to hear her work phone ringing, which totally makes sense. ^_^ I would love to work in a place where my boss were that understanding! I would just plain love to work somewhere where I would be allowed to listen to music, because I know that it would help me to feel less stressed if I could listen to music throughout my workday. But since I don't yet work outside of the home, I can only hope that when I do get out into the workforce that I _will_ find such a job! I think this lady is lucky, and I hope that she realizes it upon further reflection! ^_^
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Feb 07
I came away with the same feeling, shywolf. I thought her boss was making a reasonable compromise and yet she was livid about not being able to do things "her way," as she put it. I think some forget that they are responsible to others in their workplace and that people need to be treated with respect. Sure, she probably figures she's being respectful by not having others hear her tunes, but on the flip side, she's disrespecting her "customers" (whether external or even coworkers) by not caring to hear and take their phone calls.
• India
11 Feb 07
It can be easily done with ipod. I love ipod music of this site. http://surl.in/HLMID261252BMRMTGQ
@samsonskola (3357)
• United States
15 Feb 07
i have to agree with the boss. I have a radio by my desk and i usually have it on country, as that's what most of the people at my office want. i don't mind, i like country. but it's not loud enough to interfere with my hearing the conversation on the phone. i would never use an earpiece at work, there are just some places where it's unacceptable. I don't blame the boss if she was supposed to be taking calls. Music in the office is a great way to help ease the stress, but only if it doesn't interfere with your job.
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Feb 07
I think it's great that you set your radio to something that most people in your office would like to hear. Not everyone is willing to do that :) I had a coworker, years ago, who would ONLY listen to "talk radio," never music. There were days that it drove me insane because it was like someone standing and having a running conversation right outside your office ALL day, non-stop. I'm game for just about any type of music (as long as it's at a considerate volume) but, for some reason, those talk radio shows are like nails on a chalkboard lol
@vivasuzi (4127)
• United States
13 Feb 07
I wore headphones a couple of times, but always was worried about it although no one said anything about it. The only reason I wish I felt ok with headphones is b/c sometimes people get loud and I can't concentrate. I can understand why her boss wouldn't want them, but I still wish I could use mine sometimes when I need to mute out the chatter if I'm stuck on something. But since I don't do that anymore, now I just play music on my laptop. I go to my fav station and play it live online. Or I use Yahoo Launch. It's easier than having to get a radio.
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Feb 07
I really understand what you mean, vivasuzi... I've had coworkers in the past who were just SO darn LOUD! They couldn't talk on the phone without everyone in the office having to be part of their conversation or they would speak to every single person as they made a trip down the hallway -- not thinking about how much of a disturbance they were creating.
• Australia
10 Feb 07
Wow! I can't believe that woman had an issue with that. The boss seemed to be very reasonable. If answering the phone is part of her job, then she should expect to have to do that and do it properly, including no ear buds in her ears. Our phones are constantly ringing at work, and I doubt anyone would get away with ear buds in the office. Quite a few people have little clock radios or small cd players on their desk, and management haven't said anything so that seems to work here. I personally don't listen, unless I'm forced through sitting next to someone who does. The main reason being that I don't believe anyone would appreciate my Garbage or Tori Amos cds I'd insist on listening too. So, I figure I'd rather not, as much as i think it would make the day move faster. C'est la vie.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Feb 07
Another good point, twistedangelwings... we don't all appreciate the same music. I love to listen to just about anything (I'd be fine with Garbage or Tori Amos LOL) and I enjoy learning about great music through other people's tastes and interests - but the office isn't a great place for subjecting everyone to tunes that might not be generally pleasing. Thanks for bringing that to the discussion :)
@Bee1955 (3885)
• United States
9 Feb 07
If its going to interfere with your job - DUH! I cant understand what that woman was ranting about. If music earbuds are more important to her, then quit. Music does help in the business office, because it helps to sooth a hectic environment. Personal radios/stereos are nice to have if shut up in a cubicle or small office. Headsets -- no.
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Feb 07
I don't get it either, Bee! I sometimes think that we've become such a "technology-focused" society that there are people who cannot be separated from their gadgets... whether it's a cell phone, an earpiece, an iPod, what have you. It's like they cease to function if you unplug them! ;)
@ygkchaitu (388)
• India
9 Feb 07
There is a proven research according to which our brain responds better when it is bombarded with the some notes which activates the brain cells. The other name for this phenomenon is Music Therapy. Yes music does act on the brain very well to keep it active. So now more and more people realizing this fact and making the music part of the corporate world. Well i like to work with the music but it has to be different genres everyday and it has to be chosen at random else our brain cells get kind of tired of listening to the same music over and over. I got used to this music from my childhood itself even before the research was made when i sort of got comfortable to mix my studies and music. Now it is almost like i can't get the output without music as efficiently as with music.
• Canada
9 Feb 07
I have heard this theory, ygkchaitu. In fact, where I live, there are colleges that are beginning to offer combined programs in Music & Science, as it is felt that the music study is a definite benefit and aid to the scientific learning.
• Philippines
9 Feb 07
Yes, we love music at work! I can't imagine a 9-hour shift without it. Everyday I sit for at least 9 hours in front of the computer, waiting for my phone to ring, hoping each call is a sale. And each sale converted will somehow by virtue of bad luck, have some complications that will haunt me for the rest of the week. Music definitely gets me through the day. Yes, it does affect work, but certainly in a very positive way. The company I work for realizes this as they have not taken any step to prohibit it. As paid employees, we just need to do our share - be responsible enough not to jeopardize our work as music was not meant for that use!
• Canada
9 Feb 07
Oh absolutely, coldchamp! In some workplaces, it's entirely fine to have music because it's not interfering with any business being done. As you've aptly mentioned, it's all about personal responsibility :)
• United States
8 Feb 07
My boss at my old job came in and turned our radio off (we were listening to Howard Stern, who I can't stand now, but this was in the early 90's when he was kinda funny). My next job it wasn't feasible to listen to music, as I was on the phone a lot. But one of my coworkers always had her headset on and she would never answer her phone!!
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Feb 07
Another negative in a situation like the one with your coworker is that, in some businesses, those calls would forward to someone else who be picking up the slack... just because she hadn't heard it ringing. That would drive me insane!
• United States
8 Feb 07
Music helps quite a few people I know; but for me it has always been a distraction. When I worked in an office setting with my own office, even the meditation type music served to interfere with whatever it was that I was doing. ~Donna
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Feb 07
You know, Donna, I totally get what you mean... there are times I'm working in my office and I can have music on, even quite loud, and I completely enjoy it. Other times, it's like a bug in my ear and it drives me crazy because I can't concentrate. I guess, if I'm writing, it interrupts my thought process but if I'm doing something repetitive then it's no distraction. I've never tried the meditation type of music (or sounds, versus standard music) but often wondered if I'd enjoy it... do you listen to it often?
@Fluplup (556)
• United States
21 Feb 07
We do, make the day go faster! In our place we have to hear the house microphone, so if we need to run see a patient, or any urgent... fire, etc... we can't wear ear buds.+
@rekhum (2434)
• India
20 Feb 07
I can't imagine sitting gawked at my monitor doing 100s of emails without music in any form,be it in any dialects.We usually listen them online.I like the launchcast.com/yahoo music at work as they air any genres you are into.But we give them a break too because at times they become lethargic(esp. when the genres are of sluggish)when being kept on playing for good 8 hours.
• Philippines
15 Feb 07
of course i do. it alleviates the stress and makes me unmindful of my sometimes irritating coworkers.^_^i mostly listen to gay songs, or party songs. something to help keep me awake the whole day. on mushy days, i do listen to love songs too.i listen to just about anything actually.^_^
1 person likes this
@missyd79 (3438)
• United States
12 Feb 07
when i worked in the office ( i work from home now) We were allowed to wear headphones, though we hardly ever got incoming calls, i always put my phone where i could see it out of my preferal vision so i could see when it would reing because the light would blink.
1 person likes this
@SimplyJo (1694)
• India
9 Feb 07
Hi well i'm a manager in a travel agency - it's like an inbound call centre- as we get calls from passengers who wish to travel. we do not allow any sort of music on the floor. however, in other departments who do not need to interact with passengers/take calls - like marketing, opeartions etc, we allow music be it on the headphones/ipods/computer..anything and everything is OK. The boss in this case is being reasonable AND offering an alternate too, which i , as a boss, would never have allowed. so he's being very lenient.. i hope the lady understands and co-operates.
1 person likes this
@gamekid (208)
• China
9 Feb 07
I think his boss was right,some kinds of work need people paying more attention.If she ecstasized listening to music,it will affect her working quality or bring danger to her.But listen background music when you're working,i think it's good!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 07
Music is so relaxing at the work place.Sitting 8-9 hours with your eyes glues to the monitor can be so tiring.And music comes as a saviour in this situation.I feel that if you are listening to music with your headsets on and keep the volume low,it should not interfere with your work.But if at all,you are not able to take calls and concentrate on your work,then music is a big NO.After all,work always comes first.
1 person likes this
• India
9 Feb 07
i listen music to work from a fm radio.......its in my ward ..we are not allowed other instruments.....
• United States
9 Feb 07
I listen to a radio at work in my office. Sometimes, when I come back from my lunchtime walk, I'll have my Ipod on for a little while, but only one ear. I'd really rather listen to the radio. I think her boss was being reasonable by asking her to do that since it affected her job performance. I find music soothing while I'm working. Too bad I can only get in 1 radio station clearly. :)