What the Music You Listen To Says About How You Work

Author:  Alex Crump

If you like to listen to music while you work, find out how it affects your work performance here!

Playing music in the office is an ongoing Marmite debate. You either can’t get through the day without it, or you can’t get any work done with it. Some people have work-specific playlists with lo-fi music or tracks that feature coffee shop background noise to help them focus. Others need a bit more of a nudge from Whitney or Elton to keep their energy up.

With the endlessly growing number of music genres allowing people to pursue individuality, people can integrate this into their workday by finding what helps them get through their workload. Each genre features different elements that spark different areas of the brain to evoke various feelings and moods.

Here’s how the most popular music genres affect how you work!


 Classical music is a very common genre to listen to while working. The sophisticated melodies and ideas encourage careful listening, self-discipline and concentration. The often longer pieces enhance focus for a prolonged time, and frequent changes in texture, dynamics, and instrumentation boost creativity and imagination.

If you listen to classical music while you work, you likely need to finish a project before beginning another. However, you are an exceptional multi-tasker and aren’t afraid of a heavy workload.


The typically strong beats and prominent guitars of rock music are well known for managing intense emotions and regulating the body’s mood swings. Rock music can feature positive and negative emotions, feeding essential dopamine to almost any emotional need, making it an excellent choice to listen to while working. It can also improve concentration, cognitive function and coordination due to the confidence of its performers.

If you listen to rock music while you work, you are likely as confident working independently as you are in a team and love to be involved in office antics. You may take regular breaks, but this certainly does not impact the quality of your work which you hold to a very high standard.


Pop music is known for its easy listenability, repetitive melodies and memorable lyrics. These elements influence relaxation and focus while working, as the repetition allows the brain to relax and concentrate on the task. Upbeat tracks and positive content can improve mood and self-esteem, helping to increase the quality of work. The often major chord sequences and uncomplicated instrumentation help develop confidence and optimism and boost morale.

If you listen to pop music while you work, you have a strong sense of direction and leadership and love to help others out. You may not always finish your work on time, but it’s always worth the wait! You’re very thorough and ambitious when completing projects, and your strong visions are inspiring for the rest of the team.


R&B is one of the most influential genres of music. With its often relatable and passionate lyric content, R&B can strongly encourage moods, self-esteem and commitment. The strong sense of rhythm can feel comforting, and the confident vocals inject a feeling of determination into a regular workday. R&B offers a sense of togetherness and relatability, often regarding overcoming situations or making the most of an opportunity. The decreased stress can lead to an improved ability to focus for extended periods.

If you listen to R&B music while you work, you may prefer to work independently on many short projects rather than one or two longer tasks. You don’t mind a chaotic workload as you prioritise effectively.


Some of the most imaginative and uplifting songs are of the country genre. The predominant use of stringed instruments, which sing charismatic and bouncy melodies, helps to improve mood, boost creativity and increase attention span. The imagery within many of the lyrics often provides a sense of comfort, like getting lost in a book, which allows the listener to relax and release stress. The decreased stress can lead to an improved ability to focus for longer periods of time.

If you listen to country music while you work, you likely have a long list of to-dos which never gets shorter. However, you complete each task with a fresh eye and like to find more efficient ways of doing things.


Rap primarily activates the language and function parts of the brain. The frequently
fast-paced and complex lyrics exercise the brain and can increase attention. The prominent beats encourage steady focus, and the lyrics’ often inspiring, persuasive content improves productivity and confidence. Heavy basslines are commonly used in rap music, offering a grounding feeling and enhancing motivation.

If you listen to rap music while you work, you are likely very driven and don’t like to leave any task undone for too long. You may be seen as a leader and always aim to improve your
work. You have an inspiring level of focus and determination, which everyone in the office looks up to.

Here at Each Person HQ, we love a song and a dance in the office! You can expect to find the radio on the 80s station most days, Matt and Bethan fighting to keep Harry Styles playing, Becki and Alex’s concerts to the wall, and increasing anticipation for Eurovision!

So, what’s your favourite genre of music to work to?

At Each Person, we’ve made it our mission to help businesses celebrate their people by creating a positive work culture for all. If you want to discover how Each Person can help deliver significant benefits for your employee’s mental and financial wellbeing, contact us at [email protected].


Listening to Classical Music Improves Concentration –

https://www.prsformusic.com/m-magazine/news/listening-classical-music-improves-concen tration#:~:text=Listening%20to%20classical%20music%20can,a%20new%20study%20has%2 0showed.&text=2%20min%20read-,Listening%20to%20classical%20music%20can%20help% 20boost%20concentration%20and%20self,a%20new%20study%20has%20showed.

The Power of Rock Music: How It Can Help You Concentrate and Focus – https://www.boysetsfire.net/the-power-of-rock-music-how-it-can-help-you-concentrate-and

-focus/#:~:text=Rock%20music%20has%20been%20shown,accuracy%20and%20reduced%20 reaction%20time.

Most Important Benefits of Pop Music in Education – https://www.totalntertainment.com/features/most-important-benefits-of-pop-music-in-edu cation/#:~:text=Listening%20to%20pop%20music%20as,and%20thereby%20enhances%20cr eative%20ability.

How Does R&B Music Affect Your Mood – https://youknowigotsoul.com/how-does-rb-music-affect-your-mood

How Country Music Affects Learning – https://nashvillegab.com/2019/11/how-country-music-affects-learning.html

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