Music In Open Office Landscaping

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about listening to  music:

Which is more appropriate: Listening to music at a volume where it’s annoying to others? Listening to music using headphones or earbuds? Is it unprofessional to use earbuds if the position does not have to interact with customers?

Signed, Ears To Hear

Dear Ears To Hear:

Music while you work can make the day go better, unless that music is annoying and distracting. Apparently, you are annoyed with loud music and think there is a better policy for music within the workplace. There is. As you mention “earbuds” enable employees with jobs that don’t require communication with coworkers and customers to listen to music without disturbing others. This technology enables listening to music while you work to be private. However, there is also something lost when every employee is self-absorbed with music piped into her/him ears and is not interacting with others present.

In this age of self-pleasing solo-listening, those, who make the rules about music a workplace, would be wise to consider the need and value of coworker communication, both job-focused and social communication. Our Archive posts many questions about music use, such as My signature theme: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS suggests that the employee-friendly workplace entails active listening to one another. What distracts from that is not to an organization’s advantage.

William Gorden