watsonx Orchestrate

 View Only

You can’t touch music, but music can touch you

By Jeffrey Palmer posted Mon July 18, 2022 12:20 PM


I’m a big fan of the cartoon “Regular Show.”  The title of this blog stems from an episode where two of the show’s main characters deal with whether music helps them do their jobs better or slows them down (which is their MO).   

I thought about this when I went into the office for the first time in a while.  I arrived very early in the morning when the parking lot was nearly empty, and the building was silent.  The white noise that clicks on at 8 a.m. sharp every day was not on yet either.  It was just me and my backpack and the sounds of silence.

It was then that I realized how much I need at least ambient noise – or better yet background music – to ease daily anxieties and supplement the caffeine that gets me into a real work rhythm.   

So in the spirit of IBM Watson Orchestrate and the ways we as people want to maximize our value and productivity, I decided to write a blog about the power of music in relation to work happiness and performance.  I know there are plenty of studies out there already on this topic, but since I’m so passionate about music in so many ways, I figured one more couldn’t hurt.


My first step was to see what ranked high on Google for “how music increases productivity.” 


  • “65% of business owners agree that music makes employees more productive, and 77% of small- and medium-sized business owners believe that playing music increases employee morale. In certain industries, such as retail and hospitality, music has an even greater impact on employee performance and attitude.” Source


  • “Because music can increase your brain's dopamine levels, the right music can help your work feel more enjoyable. Familiar music can boost productivity levels because it doesn't require focus.” Source


  • “Studies show that 90% of workers perform better when listening to music, and 88% of employees produce more accurate work. Business owners agree, and 65% of business owners believe that music makes employees more productive.” Source


I reflected on this in relation to my own daily work and came away with several personal takes.


Is music a chemical dependency (romance)? 

  • I really believe it is. I can't live without music.  I have to play it daily on multiple devices like my record player, apps, car stereo, portable speakers, and my guitar.  If I don't have it near me, I physically don't feel as motivated and experience fatigue faster.  A good example is when I take walks.  I can walk at a faster pace and go for for longer distances.  Daily work endurance and accuracy are the same. 

Are mood and morale better when music is playing?

  • It’s absolutely better. My family can attest to my passion at home.  I'm also known for being a very upbeat person at work.  What most co-workers don’t know is that during virtual conferences it’s always playing quietly in the background. 

Is work productivity boosted or hindered by music? 

  • I would say my work performance is better when it’s playing. I try to advocate this approach for others too. I love to play music while I wait for people to join web conferences. Seeing their smiling faces and positive responses in the chat is great.  

What’s on your work playlist?

There’s obviously not a right or wrong answer to this question.  I’ll simply leave you with a little inspiration and invite you to share your own response to this topic.

  • Check out our Spotify playlist and notice the diversity in what inspires people.
  • Reply with your favorite band, music genre or song that gets you motivated at work.


“You can’t touch music, but music can touch you.”




Mon September 19, 2022 06:13 PM

It's interesting how music can be used to increase productivity and help employees to focus but on certain instances like tests or exams or deep focus work it may hinder that. I wonder where the line occurs that it crosses over helping or hindering. I'll say I for one though love listening to music while I work and find it helps me get in the zone of continuous work.

Wed July 20, 2022 09:48 AM

I agree Jeff, music is powerful. It can help change your mood, which in turn can change your personal outcomes. Music can be the difference between me completing that project or not, and without it my house would probably never truly be clean!

Tue July 19, 2022 09:44 AM

Funny that you referenced a cartoon quote in your post about music, Jeff, as cartoons were the first place I was introduced to classical music. The William Tell Overture is burned into my brain. If that doesn't fire you up to get to work, I don't know what will?