We all know that working from home is hard. It’s a struggle to stay motivated and productive when your phone is next to you, your manager isn’t near, and your bed is a few meters away! But, there are lots of things you can do to stay productive while working from home. You can use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone (read more about how this helps here), take regular breaks, set up a dedicated workspace, and listen to music that encourages productivity. First of all, we are not here to tell you that listening to Mozart will improve your productivity at work. We want to help you find the beat that will enhance your workflow and help you have a great day, either working from home or sitting at the office.
Music is very personal. Indeed, there are different genres for different tastes. The artist you will choose to listen to will depend on your activity and mood. For example, you do not listen to the same music when you are working out, where you need an energy booster playlist, and when you are reading a book where you will be looking for a more peaceful, chill background sound.
So, here it is, our very own selection of Spotify playlists for work. We also wanted to invite you to discover other types of music you could play at the office.
First, do you know what Lo-Fi stands for? It means Low-Fidelity. It is a musical term to refer to intentional imperfections and errors used in the recording process, becoming part of the aesthetic of the music.
You have most certainly already scrolled on a Lo-Fi playlist on Spotify. An anime image usually covers the playlists. Also, on Youtube, channels such as Chillhop or Lofi Girl might ring a bell. Those rhythms are usually recommended to focus, read or study. Lo-Fi has become a big trend and boomed during the pandemic. Lo-Fi is a modern style of music to listen to at work, characterised by a relaxing slow tempo with influences from house, jazz and hip hop.
You love it, or you hate it. However, we can all agree that a good Latin Jazz playlist in the office on Friday afternoon sounds cool. Excellent music for the kick-off for the weekend. Jazz is often assimilated to coffee vibe music. The genre has a profound cultural connotation. It takes its roots in blues and ragtime in the early 20th century in the African-American communities in New Orleans. Now, the jazz influence is present in the newest music scene. Jazz music is sampled and looped; this is the love story between jazz and hip hop, for example, omnipresent in the Lo-Fi style mentioned before.
Stay with me here. The white noise is what we can call ambient sound. However, the American composer and music theorist John Cage would disagree as he said: “Everything we do is music”. This guy composed four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. We will not discuss how we agree or not on this affirmation. White noise might or might not be your cup of tea: however, it is interesting to know it. What is white noise? And, why is it recognised as a good tool for productivity and focus?
First, it is essential to understand that there are noises that can distract and noises that can help to focus. For example, the sound of your coworker’s phone ringing every 2 minutes is annoying. But, the background noise of a coffee place is somehow peaceful for the mind. White noise is a neutral and non-verbal sound, characterised by its frequency. And finally, it is not the same as nature sounds. Here are some examples: the din of a restaurant or a train station, a fan, or a dishwasher sound. Studies have shown that this type of constant neutral sound helps block distraction, improve focus, and reduce anxiety. You can find many white noise playlists on Spotify.
It is true that acoustic music is a good option for listening to some pop, rock, and still, focus. In general, acoustic covers and interpretation are often brought down to a more relaxing version than the original version of the songs. As for instrumental music, some people can find it hard to focus while listening to songs with lyrics.
Well, if Mozart and Beethoven are your deal, go for it! You might have heard about the “Mozart Effect”. Some studies, even if contrasted, say that listening to Mozart could have a beneficial impact on brain activity. Classical music is indeed powerful if it is to your liking. We like to listen to Cello and Piano pieces at the office for a peaceful and productive work morning.
La Vaca is a super relaxed coworking space. In our office, there is music everywhere. Background sound in some working areas and mood booster in others. We listen to our favourite Spotify playlists every day and, since March 2020, we also share our homemade playlists that you can access here!
The concept started during the lockdown. As we couldn’t meet with our coworkers at the office, we’ve had the idea to bring the coworking beats and mood at home!
Once we returned to the office, we decided to keep on sharing weekly playlists with our community. The Noisy Fridays are mood booster playlists especially designed for the so feared Fridays.
Those are our latest. Monthly playlists that we share the first week of every month to get you started with good energy!
Finally, it is time to wrap it up. We are happy to share a small part of our world. But in the end, you need to find your own beat for working. Remember that every person is different, and what works for you might not be at peers’ taste. It is crucial to make the difference between music that motivates, helps you focus and be productive and music that distracts. Here are some basic rules for music at work to conclude this article. For open spaces, music should be more ambient, like a background sound. Instrumental music is preferable as it is challenging to make everyone agree and a genre. If you listen to your music with headphones, make sure that you are the only one that can hear it. Otherwise, you might become the annoying noise yourself.