U2’s “A Beautiful Day” has been chosen as the most popular song to help Ireland’s workforce get ready for work with one in three (33 percent) selecting the 2000 chart topper as their go-to song as they set themselves up for a day at work. Ed Sheeran has been voted “Desktop of the Pops”; the most acceptable artist to play in the workplace (51 percent), beating Coldplay (42 percent) and U2 (26 percent) to the top spot while Dundalk trio, The Corrs are the fifth most popular (18 percent). That’s all according to new research released today byLinkedIn, in partnership with Spotify, which was designed to lift the lid on the divisive nature of music at work.

The study shows many workers think listening to music at work helps make them be better at their jobs. Almost three-quarters of workers (78 percent) think music makes them more productive, while more than half (56 percent) of professionals who listen to music at work argue it keeps them motivated, helps them to keep calm (42 percent) and helps them be more creative (31 percent). Music in the workplace has other benefits too – 20 percent of workers admit to playing music to drown out the sound of their fellow colleagues.

Wendy Murphy, LinkedIn’s Senior Director of HR in EMEA, comments, “We’ve partnered with Spotify to find out what Ireland really thinks about music being played at work. Ultimately, how we behave in the workplace plays a huge role in developing our professional brand so it’s important to remember what you want to communicate about yourself to others, whether that’s online or offline. Listening to music can have positive effects on productivity, creativity and motivation levels – just make sure you’ve been considerate and consulted your colleagues before blasting Eminem on a Monday morning!”

The study also found that music tastes can be divisive and potentially harmful to an employee’s professional brand if polarised opinions aren’t carefully navigated. Of those surveyed, six percent admitted to judging their colleagues by their taste in music and more than one in five (22 percent) said that they think it’s rude when people impose their music on others without checking with their colleagues first. And while a third (34 percent) try to be considerate in their music selection, seven percent are reluctant to ask their fellow colleagues to turn their music off or down – even if it’s bothering them.

Most likely to cause a workplace tempo tantrum is rapper Eminem, who was voted the least acceptable artist to have on at work (35 percent). Irish artists that featured in the top 10 of least acceptable to play in the workplace included Thin Lizzy at no.5 (11 percent), Westlife at no.6 (9 percent), Nathan Carter at no. 7 (9 percent) and U2 at No.9 (8 percent).

Pop music is employees’ workplace go-to, with more than half of workers (57 percent) selecting it as their genre of choice, but there are some surprising tastes across different industries in Ireland. LinkedIn data identified classical music as the most popular choice for those working in education (49 percent), while electronic/dance is the most popular choice for marketing professionals (42 percent) and those on the frontline of consumer demand working in retail are most likely to select pop (66 percent) for their playlists.

To bring harmony to the workplace, LinkedIn has teamed up with Dr Hauke Egermann, a music psychologist, to offer the following advice:

·       Consider music as part of your professional brand

o   Just as music plays a role in forming people’s social identity, it contributes to employees’ professional brands too. It has the power to build or damage a professional reputation and, as this project shows, colleagues might judge others on their choice in the workplace. Consider how you want to portray yourself professionally and make sure your music tastes, and attitudes towards others, reflects it

·       Check your workplace’s music policy

o   Before putting your favourite playlist on loudspeaker talk to your line manager to find out if there is an official company policy on listening to music. Some encourage music to enhance the working environment while for others it’s a strict no go. While headphones are generally favoured, some workplaces ban them as it’s considered anti-social

·       Learn what helps you focus

o   Listening to music is a great way to achieve the optimal working environment, however, it’s important to match the music with the task at hand. Listening to songs with lyrics while writing can be distracting but instrumental music can help you to mask a noisy environment and improve focus and concentration. When working on something complicated, look for music to keep you calm. And while working on repetitive tasks, stimulating music could motivate you to finish it faster

·       Be considerate of your colleagues

o   Music in the workplace is divisive: some love it, some hate it. Be mindful that everyone has different opinions on songs, genres and artists and some prefer silence. Talk to your colleagues and check that they are happy for it to be played and that they agree with your music choices.

Find out more and join in the conversation on social using #musicatwork.


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