Once upon a time, a worker playing music in his office would probably have found himself facing a severe reprimand, if not the sack.
Happily, times change. And while there are still many offices up and down the country conducting their work in stony silence, many others allow music. Particularly in more creative companies.
At LimeTree, we've been playing music all day in the office for some time now. The people who work here like it, and even most clients welcome it. (Of course, we're talking relatively quiet music, not wall-shaking volume.)
This got me thinking, though. Are there any real benefits to playing music, or is it just good because it introduces a less formal style?
A little research quickly convinced me that there's a lot to be said for it. Research has shown, for example, that music with a strong beat can stimulate brainwaves to resonate with it. Faster beats aid concentration and help make thinking more alert. Slower beats are also good, at promoting calmness. Even after you've stopped listening, the music can leave you with lasting positive effects due to the change in brainwave activity.
It's not just a mental aid, though: as the growing field of music therapy attests. Listening to music has also been found to lower blood pressure (which can reduce the risk of stroke and other health problems), strengthen immunity levels, ease muscle tension, and more.
That sounds like pretty good value for the price of a few CDs.