Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about music and productivity:
Are there studies on employees’ concentration and productivity levels with regard to listening to talk radio stations or music while working?
Signed, Listening While Working
Dear Listening While Working:
You can find all sorts of mixed results when researching studies pertaining to the effects of music. I know of no research pertaining to talk radio’s effect on concentration and productivity. Perhaps there are some, and I predict that whether or not worker concentration/productivity is distracted or enhanced by talk radio would depend on the kind of talk radio (ranging from Howard Stern to Rush Limbaugh to NPR) and on the type of task (from repetitive assembly to complex problem solving). There is much research on music’s effect. Do cows give more readily give more milk while music is played? One study reports Yes; however, that study is confounded because the cows also were given beer! Perhaps the most quoted research regarding music on concentration is known as The Mozart Effect. This research found that college students performed better solving mathematical problems when listening to classical music. Apparently cows will produce more milk if Mozart is played without drinking beer.