Many remote workers are curating specific playlists to help with focus as well as nostalgic mixes to drift to “to better times and places.”
Whether it’s part of the daily telecommute or in an office environment, music plays a critical role in the traditional workday for many professionals. On Tuesday, audio equipment company Sound United published a report outlining the benefits of music for remote workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The raw dataset details sentiments regarding musical preferences, playlists curated specifically for the workday, sources of new audio offerings and more.
“The transition to remote work has no doubt been really challenging for people and companies alike in 2020. What we’ve learned is that music played a pivotal role in improving moods and stimulating minds, empowering remote workers to better adapt to the new work-from-home lifestyle,” said Kevin Duffy, CEO of Sound United.
The findings are based on a Sound United-commissioned survey conducted from Feb. 10 through Feb. 11 and included responses from 2,000 adults in the U.S. Since March 2020, about half of respondents said the frequency of their music listening has increased “somewhat” and 41% said this frequency has increased significantly.
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Overall, 85% of respondents agreed that listening to music is key to “staying sane” and “boosting productivity.” Nearly eight in 10 respondents (79%) agreed that listening to music has “greatly contributed to decreased loneliness” and has “become more important” during the “stresses of 2020.” About three-quarters of respondents said that listening to a particular musician or a song “has been key to battling the Covid blues.”
Two-thirds of respondents said they have created a “focus playlist to stay on task” during the remote workday. A similar number of respondents (65%) have created a “nostalgia playlist to transport” them “to better times and places” and 72% have curated a “pump-up playlist to improve” their energy level for the workday.
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Mental health and well-being have been a point of focus for many remote employees and workforces as people remain isolated from friends and family due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than half of respondents (54%) said that listening to their “favorite music” has somewhat improved their mental health and 40% said this had “greatly improved” their mental health.
Nearly seven in 10 respondents (69%) said that listening to music has helped with “quelling pandemic-related stress.” Other top reported pandemic-related stress quellers included watching television, exercising, reading and shopping online.
“An interesting—and frankly pretty funny—addition to the conversation is the fact that more than a third of survey respondents said they appreciated not having to hide the music they love for fear of judgment from co-workers,” Duffy said.
So where are people finding news tunes and musicians during the coronavirus pandemic?
Since March 2020, the majority of respondents said they discovered new music on YouTube.
Spotify (45%), the radio (39%), and friends (36%) were the next most common sources of new music during this time.
About one-third of respondents (31%) said they spend between two to four hours listening to music while working remotely. Approximately one in five (21%) respondents said they spend between 16 minutes and one hour listening to music during the remote workday.
A portion of the survey asked respondents to rank aspects of their daily lives based on how important these activities are to their overall happiness. These activities include music, exercise, reading, watching television and working. In order, respondents ranked music, exercise, watching television, working and reading as the most important activities related to their personal happiness.
“My advice to remote workers and companies navigating the remote work dynamic is to use music as a tool to boost your energy and productivity. Objectively speaking, it works,” Duffy said.
“If you hear a song that makes you feel good, pop it into a workday playlist. Allow yourself permission to discover new music and let it inspire and motivate you,” Duffy continued.