Once upon a time, there was an office. In this office, every man at a desk wore a suit, a well cut, heavy set suit. Each desk was piled high with papers, pens, an ashtray and probably a bottle of whiskey tucked in a drawer somewhere.

It might sound a little too Mad Men for your liking. However, Mad Men is based very heavily on old office structures.

Rush forward a couple of years, there are now large hot monitors on desks, the ashtrays are gone now, and it’s not acceptable to have a bottle of anything in your drawers.

Coffee and sweat is the smell of these times. Working hard, staying late nights, ticking off things at your worker reviews and never really asking for a raise.

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But, where are we now?

Well, we are in the era of working productivity, open plan offices, ‘beer Fridays,’ training support and t-shirt in jeans in many offices. The laptops are lighter than ever, the commuting options opened up with the speed of the local trains, asking for ‘what you’re worth’ rather than settling is commonplace and people work in harmony with new technology like text better.

You’re more likely to see a no smoking sign than a cigarette butt and carpooling might earn you a free lunch.

But what can we still do to improve the working environment and improve productivity even more? Music.

Bored finger tapping cinemagraph

When employees are heading to work, they are usually listening to a set playlist or the radio, and when allowed they will often listen to music on headphones while working.

But there is a select list of songs that are proven to up spirits in the office, and the higher the spirits, the more significant work people produce.

So, let’s take a look at some of the tunes that you should be either playing in the office or handing out on a playlist for them to listen to when they like.

Firstly, think about the work that is most often produced within your office space, is it rapid paced, is it creative? This is important because writing requires a different part of the brain to say – creating artwork.

When writing (or similar tasks) you’re better to listen to something with little to no vocals and reasonably downtempo.

This allows you to make full use of the language part of your brain because you won’t be a) singing along or b) mentally giving words space to the lyrics. A few ideas?

  • “Intro” by The XX
  • “You & Me” DR.Unkenbeat (Jacques Gusto Remix)
  • “Sensify Me” Zimmer (Crayon Remix)

But when it comes to tedious tasks, like checking emails, checking paperwork or anything you are likely to not engage in fully, something upbeat and positive is what you need. Think a quicker beat, and a bit more bouncy.


  • “Gold” by Kiiara (Achtabahn Remix)
  • “Fast Car” Jonas Blue. Dakota
  • “Dakota” Stereophonics
  • “Bad Bad News” Leon Bridges

Your brain is let loose to work along with the beat of the music without investing time on distractions.