So, let’s talk about office music

January 19, 2018

News ,


I can’t talk for every office across the UK, but in our office music is a massive part of our agency culture.

With lots of personalities, the music battle is a daily struggle. Music sets the tone of the office and even has the power to motivate or demotivate our office members. So really, nailing the right office music is critical for a happy and productive office.

We can, of course, throw on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and listen to our personal favourites – there’s no judgement here. But while working with headphones may be more productive, it is pretty unsociable.

The question remains, is it possible to find the right balance?


The pros and cons of office music

Maintaining an inspired, happy, and productive office is a priority at Harvest. But depending on who has taken charge of the Sonos 🌚, we still go back and forth between each other with conflicting opinions on the daily tunes. For instance:

Pro: Music helps to elevate your mood. It provides a rhythm to your work and makes you feel more energetic.

Con: Listening to music while we work means we’re multi-tasking and not entirely focused, reducing productivity.

Pro: Music can drown out other distractions, meaning we’re more focused on the task at hand.

Con: Music, especially with lyrics, can be intrusive, flooding your mind with distraction.


Sounds like a complex battle, right? It only leads to treble… That’s office politics for you.

Office playlists to keep the peace

While we might not have solutions for all of your office politics, we’ve done some research and tracked down the best music genres/playlists – backed by science – that are suited to promote a happy, productive and motivated office environment.


Top tip: Take advantage of the diversity in your office as it actually encourages motivation and productivity. Repeatedly playing the same music genre can have a negative effect on well-being. So, pick and mix some of the following playlists to encourage a cognitive boost across the office, while also giving everyone a chance to listen to their musical preferences throughout the day.


#1 Chilled-pop

Spotify playlist: The Great British Breakfast

As the name might suggest, The Great British Breakfast is the perfect playlist to boost morale in the early morning. Commuting into work can feel draining or even like a chore, so uplift the mood with a happy-go-lucky, yet chilled, pop playlist. Filled with classics and some modern-day hits, it’s the perfect way to ease into your morning.


#2 Downtempo Electronica

Music artists: The XX, Bonobo, Maribou State

Low-key electronic tracks are the perfect accompaniment if you’re looking to chill-out, realign your focus and really crack on with your work. The ambient sounds of chilled electro music have a special way of drowning out distractions while also prompting your creativity.


#3 Classical

Spotify playlist: Top Classical of 2017 or Music for Concentration

Classical music has long been known to boost productivity, but it doesn’t mean that you need to listen to the old school classics like Mozart and Beethoven. Some contemporary collections draw inspiration from Jazz, Electronic and minimalism to bring a modern twist to classical music.

Whatever your classical favourites, explore the complexities of the genre to declutter your mind and inspire creativity. Check out Ludovico Einaudi or some of Hans Zimmer’s famous television soundtracks, such as Blue Planet II.



#4 Jazz

Spotify playlist: Coffee Table Jazz

Jazz is a genre with endless variety, moods and tempos, with many tracks available without lyrics. Jazz prompts conversation and interaction, while also providing a soothing backing track to any busy office. A combination of mellow tunes perfectly pair with a post-lunchtime coffee so you’re ready to wind down and crack on with a productive afternoon.



#5 An energy boost

Spotify playlist: #ThrowbackThursday

Research has shown that music without lyrics, such as classical and instrumental playlists, amplifies our concentration. While this is true, there will be some points in your week where your office might need a pick me up. An energy boost. A pump up.

Powerful, upbeat tracks can trigger an empowering state of mind, boosting our desire to work. Playlists like this are great towards the end of the week. #ThrowbackThursday combines many genres and decades together. So with nostalgia cemented in every track, it’s a win-win for every office!


There we are, five genres which can at least help keep the peace, especially if productivity and a healthy well-being is key in your office. So ditch the headphones, grab a cuppa, and leave work for the weekend on a high-note with one of these focused soundtracks.


If you’ve got the buzz and think an agency role could be for you, get in touch at or check out our vacancies.

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