Co-working spaces: to music or not to music, that is the question…

Co-working spaces are now part and parcel of the modern working landscape. They are no longer that euphoric, hard to imagine place to work, where only trendy hipsters work, sipping their sustainable coffees whilst playing ping-pong. Co-working spaces are now growing rapidly – especially after the uncertainties of COVID-19 where many corporates terminated their leases – and are a popular choice, not only for freelancers and SMEs, but larger teams too. 

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According to research by Instant Offices, there are 33,000+ flexible working spaces globally, in which the UK is around 17% of this. There are a plethora of similarities when it comes to co-working spaces and the hospitality industry, which Ambie is very familiar with, including that of shared space and amenities, where experiences are created based on the level of service, ambiance created and the stickiness to return. Music is a critical element in creating customer / employee experiences, as certain songs correlate to certain memories and indelible encounters.

For co-working spaces that aim to build a strong community feel, music is generally preferred. Starting a conversation where the space is dead quiet may be uncomfortable for some, so music can help kill the silence and encourage and strengthen business relationships that are naturally formed in social settings.

90% of all employees surveyed saw their work performance improve when listening to music during office hours.

CBS News Report

The benefits of music in the working space

There are so many benefits when it comes to music in the workspace, including that of co-working areas. Having big open spaces creates a sense of collaboration and breaks down any barriers where independent workers / employees find it hard to communicate and interact with each other. Listening to music can help a person concentrate on the task at hand, as it blocks out external distractions and the rhythm keeps momentum in one’s focus. Research shows that music can improve the speed of processing one’s brain, which in turn, improves performance and productivity, especially while working on repetitive tasks. 

Music can be an effective stress-buster when at work and the pressure is on. We can all relate to this of course, and for each and everyone of us, different genres of music take the edge off for us individually. For some, heavy rock ‘n roll may be a good release for anger and tension, yet for others, calm meditation music, the sounds of the ocean or even jazz can soothe their emotions and aggravations. In addition, music can help improve one’s mood and subsequent tone of voice and attitude, which is critical when dealing with customers, clients and prospects. This impact has the potential to make or break budding and established relationships.

Music may not be conducive to all employees at the same time, for example a sales team who are on calls all day. With this in mind, an option would be to have “quiet” areas, which has background ambient music or none at all, and the remainder of spaces to play music and capitalise on its many benefits. 

79% of employees said they would benefit from listening to music at work, 90% of employees would work better while listening to music, and 60% say that music at work makes them happy.

The Sound of Productivity: Analysing attitudes towards music listening in the workplace by Totaljobs

However, on the flipside, music may not be conducive to all employees at the same time, for example a sales team who are on calls all day doing demos, or a finance team needing to concentrate on figures, may require quietude . With this in mind, an option would be to have “quiet” areas, which has background ambient music or none at all, and the remainder of spaces to play music and capitalise on its many benefits. There should also be the option to lower the music, or pause playlists as and when necessary in order to avoid unnecessary frustrations.

So, what type of music is best to play?

So, once you’ve decided that music is the way to go for your co-working space, the golden question is which type of music to play? This is where Ambie comes in with their expertise in music curation. There are many things to take into account when planning what music will best suite your target audience, is it one genre? Does it rotate? Do mornings and afternoons have a different vibe? Do the playlists ramp up during lunchbreaks and Friday afternoons when work calms down? Do employees get to put forward their style of music, or is it solely selected by Management to align with the brand identity and message its trying to convey?

There is no right or wrong answer, and more importantly, there is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to deciding which music is most conducive to the environment you’re aiming to create. The music can be refreshed periodically, or seasonal playlists may be selected to get people into the right spirit, i.e. everyone loves to be jolly during the festive season, right?

Here at Ambie, we’re determined to help business owners and decision makers understand the real value of music for their brand and co-working space. Book a short demo with one of our music experts to find out how to help your business thrive.

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