5 Reasons You Should Use Headphones at Work

Listening to music motivates me.

It also drives my work and productivity.

Sometimes it makes all the difference between a sluggish day and a highly productive one.

My headphones provide me with isolation as well as motivational music.

When I really need to get work done, the headphones go on.

Do you use headphones at work?

Do Headphones Help You Get Things Done?

I wear headphones at work when I need to turn off the distractions and get down to business.

My headphones prevent interruptions while providing a personal work environment.

Headphones can be your ticket to your own personal workspace.

Whether listening to the latest pop music or your favorite movie soundtrack…

Headphones allow you to create your own “Work Zone” amidst the office chaos.

Now, most people will agree that music can be a motivator and drive you.

However, when it comes to the headphones in the workplace, there is often quite a debate.

Some workplaces are not headphone-friendly. Some managers are opposed to their workers using headphones. They claim it is anti-social. Or it prevents them from reaching their employees.

Others, recognize the benefits and encourage workers to “Zone In” to their work.

Some environments are too loud and chaotic to be conducive to concentration and intense work.

Many workers put headphones on for just that reason. To isolate themselves and overcome poorly designed workspaces.

Open floor-plans are often touted for collaboration. But, they are not the best for creative work or deep thought.

So, employees resort to their headphones and music.

Before you do, here are a few tips to consider:

  • Ensure Your Employer Is Onboard - Some employers are more headphone friendly than others. Before you put on your headphones, make sure that your boss is OK with it.
  • Limit the Volume – Keep your music at a reasonable volume. Not only will your ears be better for it, but your work neighbors won’t be disturbed by your music.
  • Be Safe – Whenever wearing headphones, make sure you are safe. It’s never a good idea to wear headphones in an environment where they could impact safety.

Headphones On, Music Up

If your job is acceptable to headphones, then by all means bring your music and create your own personal work environment.

Tuning into your music will perk you up, as well as help you stay on task.

Here are 5 Reasons That Your Should Use Headphones at Work:

  1. Set Expectations That You Are Occupied – When you put your headphones on, you are setting an expectation that you are working or engrossed in deep thought. People will be less inclined to interrupt you when your headphones are on.
  2. Create Your Own Work Zone –  If you work in a noisy or busy environment, putting your headphones on can be your ticket your own private “in the ZONE.” Tune into your music and turn off the office chaos soundtrack.
  3. Motivate Yourself – Music can be a great motivator. In addition to isolating you, your music can serve to pump up your energy and mood. Keep your inspirational music close at hand. What’s your power song?
  4. Prevent Distractions/Interruptions – When you are concentrating on a tough task, the last thing you need is to be distracted by the latest hallway chat about politics or sports scores. Let your music eliminate distractions and keep you on task.
  5. Choose Your Own Attitude – Whether your attitude needs a quick pick up, or even a few minutes of calm, let your music set your mood. A few minutes of peaceful music can be a great break from the hustle and bustle of the day.

Pump Up Your Music… and Productivity

Music can be a great motivator.

Headphones can be a great tool for getting your work done.

Let your music drive your productivity.

So, put on the headphones. Turn up the music.

And get some work done today.

Question: Do you use headphones at work? If so, how do they improve your work?

No time for time management? Check out my online course designed to jump start your productivity! Take it online on your time and pace. As well, get direct access to me for advice and questions. Get details or enroll now by clicking here!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://twitter.com/stevemorton Steve Morton

    Totally agree, I only share an office with my wife, but she has this habit of chattering away to her self whilst on her PC, which can be quite distracting at times! So I put on my headphones and get on with some work (blog posts) and enjoy some music at the same time. I’m careful about my play lists though… I keep it to my top 100 or top 500 tracks

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Yes… I am constantly updating my playlists. :) Usually to add new music.

  • http://twitter.com/raunom Rauno Merisalu

    The answer is not that simple to that question for the reasons you marked down yourself.

    Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Also some days you just can’t seem to find the right mood or song and the same tunes will not work for you every day.

    I find that if you’re already in a good mood and feel productive it won’t help me. However, if I’m not quite there a good set of tunes might just get me in the zone. But not always :)

  • Amanda

    I have to confess to putting headphones in but not necessarily having anything playing in them, just to stop my office-mate from thinking she can chat to me about zilch/trivia/her weekend/how much she hates the project etc. When she turns and starts yakking I ignore her and she assumes it’s because I can’t hear her and she doesn’t do it again.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I think you are on to something! Many people say that they put their headphones on to prevent interruptions…yet don’t listen to music. ;)

      I admit I sometimes get so “In The Zone” that I put my headphones on and forget to start the music. An hour later, I realize that I have them on and nothing is playing…

  • http://www.UnwillingToSettle.com/ Greg L. Gilbert

    I’m a big Pandora smooth jazz fan. Most have no vocal. Just soothing music.

  • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

    Yes — there is a debate on when/if to use headphones or ear buds. As a manager, I hesitate to use them as it sends a ‘do not disturb me’ message — even though I’ve communicated to my team that just because I have buds in the ears doesn’t mean they can’t approach me with a question.

    There are some days that a bit of background music is all I need to block out all the office noise. It gets pretty crazy-loud some days.

    In addition to music, some times I listen to personal productivity podcasts. It’s a win-win: block out noise and get motivated to do my work. I love it.

    Best choice for music for me: classical or jazz.

  • wavethewheat

    When I need to get my ‘game face’ on and zone in on my projects, I deploy my headphones. It is truly amazing how productive I am with them on especially on a Friday afternoon. My music of choice – Hippie Radio out of Salida, CO.

  • Claire

    I use earbuds almost every day; I wouldn’t have to if the lady in the next cube wasn’t such a gossip! If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s gossip. Downside: b/c of the way my cube & computer are situated, my back faces the cube opening at all times. So I have a mirror discretely placed on my desk that lets me (mostly) see behind me. It usually lets me see if someone is trying to get my attention.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Ah… the old mirror trick… or as some call it “the cubicle early warning system.” ;)

  • Muzza

    This reminds me of the time i used to tune in to Pandora :) I had even made a playlist and yeah, I remember ‘eye of the tiger’ used to be on repeat :)

  • Muzza

    But I now work for a 3rd party and I have to be at a client’s place most often and I do miss putting on my headphones. How do I handle this situation?

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Not sure what to tell you.

      If headphones aren’t appropriate at your new location… You may have to forego your music. :(

  • Kit Kat

    The very best tangle free earbuds are called Magbuds by FluxAudio. I spend soooo much (wasted) time de-tangling my other earbuds. MagBuds use magnetic technology to stay tangle free and are so quick and easy to use. You can wrap them around your wrist or anywhere to store them neatly and tidy and for quick connect. Check them out: http://www.FluxAud.io or at Amazon.com

  • Pingback: New Headphone Design Allows Everyone To Be Annoying [Video] | 97.3 The Dawg

  • Chris Van Duyne

    I wear headphones everyday but I use an app called iPauseMusic on my iPhone. It uses the camera to look over my shoulder and when somebody comes into my office it automatically pauses my audio. Then, I just wave my hand in front of my keyboard to restart the music

    Check out the video on youtube.com/iPauseMusic to see it in action.

  • Bob Josward

    Hi, headphones can surely help individuals improve their performance. Other than that, headphones can also improve your business ventures. So, when choosing headsets, it is vital to look for reputable sellers such as http://www.simplyheadsets.com.au .

  • AineFravashi

    I believe that wearing headphones and listening to music or narratives is counterproductive to work that involves ideas, concepts, writing, and focusing attention. Many studies show that people are less productive when listening to music. It may make you FEEL good, but for the organization as a whole, it is harmful. You are frankly more distracted when listening to music or spoken words, and thus more liable to make sloppy errors or to overlook important details. This is simple common sense.

    Wearing headphones is really only useful for certain types of work, such as data processing, tech coding (perhaps), graphic design, and other routine formatting work on a computer. For dealing with ideas, concepts, and writing, they are frankly counterproductive. Any young person who wants to excel in a work environment and exceed expectations should ditch the earbuds and headphones.

    • A N Anderson

      Please cite these studies, I would love to read them.
      Common sense is relative.
      You sound like a manager who cannot bend or accept change.

  • Pingback: Over the Ear Headphones: Uses, Benefits, and More

  • Pingback: What’s on the soundtrack of your work day? | TDS Business

  • matthew fisher

    I never used headphones at work until they hired this crazy bitch that yells at people and stirs up drama and doesnt shut up. now i dont know what i would do without headphones. i can fake like i cant hear her when he says hi or has some negative thing to say about the workplace. hopefully the music is too loud to hear her, but shes so loud that most of the time you can still hear her over the music. at least i can fake it or only hear gargle most times.

  • Pingback: All the Podcasts You Should Be Listening To | KQED Pop