If you’re lucky enough to be able to listen to something at work what is your go-to? More importantly, could you be listening to something more fitting?

In the present day, more and more jobs allow us to be more or less left to our own devices. Whether we’re working in offices or warehouses or basically any job that doesn’t require a large amount of human interaction, as long as we get our work done we are left with no company but ourselves for hours at a time. That has led most of us to listen to something while we work, whether it be music, podcasts, or otherwise.

If you do listen to something while you get on with your workday, what do you go for? It may sound crazy, but studies have shown what you’re listening to while you work can greatly affect how efficiently you get your work done. Primer Magazine recently covered the topic and came up with five key points that you should be considering when you select your soundtrack for the workday ahead.

First up, words and lyrics. According to Cambridge Sound Management, 48% of office workers are distracted by listening to podcasts or even music with lyrics. Next up, consider the tasks at hand. Research has shown that music can really help those performing repetitive work. That leads us right into point number three, matching the tempo of what your music to the work you’re doing. Keep that tempo up if you’re performing a fast-paced task.

Another important point is not to turn that volume up too high. If you’re working in a busy office with a lot of noise it can be tempting to try and drown it out, but multiple universities across North America have proved moderate noise levels are optimal for creative thinking. The last point may be the most obvious but perhaps the most important, make sure you’re listening to something you like.

For most of us, it is probably a case of throwing on a podcast or a playlist and just getting on with our work. We don’t think about the other factors that are in play and whether we could be listening to something else that would help us work faster and make the day fly by a lot more quickly. Next time you put your headphones on at work, run down the five points above and see if you can tick all the boxes.

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