What Music Do You Listen To When You’re Working?

What Music Do You Listen To When You’re Working?

Productivity site WorkAwesome discusses whether music at the workplace is a necessity or nuisance. Interesting question, but headphones make it sort of a non-issue in most workplaces. It did get us wondering, though: What music do you listen to when you work?

Kevin recently rounded up the best sounds for getting work done, but it seems like a good time for a fresh perspective from you. So let’s hear it: Share your favourite music to work to (get as detailed as you like — what revs your work engine, helps you relax, etc) in the comments. Photo by SimonDoggett.


  • For just normal work, medium paced rock I find best to keep me going, so things like VAST, The Living End, Smash Mouth, etc.

    When I’m under the pump and stressed, then usually something a bit heavier and with a faster beat such as System Of A Down or Korn.

    Relaxing, or winding up in the mornig is usually soft rock or pop such as Kings Of Leon, The Charlie Lions, and VAST again…

    In most cases the music itself is irrelevant, as long as I know the song well enough to not be distracted by lyrics or unexpected solos, it just becomes a pleasant way to block out all the other noise in the office 🙂

  • For me, work tunes are less about the music and more about the medium. I go out of my way to listen to the radio at work. Working alone, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the ‘real’ world. The ‘live’ nature of the radio gives me reassurance that there is actually life happening out there somewhere and I’m somewhat a part of it.

    Which station? For me FBI in Sydney is the pick. http://www.fbiradio.com/

  • I listen to indie rock during my more casual periods. Stuff like Bombay Bicycle Club, The Fratellis, Vampire Weekend, Shout Out Louds etc. Sometimes some Metallica (mostly S&M).

    When things get a bit more intense (but not flatout “busy”) it’s usually dance compilations or Daft Punk, MSTRKRFT or Midnight Juggernauts.

    Then if I’m under the pump I’ll listen to The Bloody Beetroots, System of a Down, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine etc.

  • I stream a lot of internet radio.

    Triple J, but its been shitting me lately.

    Kiss FM Melbourne – Have to take the good with the bad here. Awesome shows like the worlds No.1 radio show ‘A State of Trance’, Carl Cox doing shows, great techno and trance sets. But then they also have crap disco shows.

    181.FM – Find them on Shoutcast. The Buzz: Modern rock/alternative/metal. The Box: RnB. The Eagle: Classic rock.

    Chronix Aggression – METAL!!! When the boss isnt around.

  • If I’m working on websites, it’s generally punk or oi!, such as the Clash, the Undertones, Cock Sparrer, the Business or the 4-Skins. Needs to have a bit of aggression and melody to it to get me in the ‘zone’.

    For something more laid back, I like first wave ska – Prince Buster, Judge Dread, Laurel Aitken, Alton Ellis, for instance.

    Occasionally something completely left of field can do it too – klezma, country, but on the whole, punk, oi! and ska.

  • Maybe one or two people out of 50 or so at my workplace listen to music. As I’m trying to to be seen in a good light (I want to impress/further my career here), I’ve thus far avoided listening to music, and looking like I’m trying to isolate myself.

    How I long for a job where I didn’t care about my future prospects.

    • If your employer is putting a black mark next to your name because you are drowning out distractions and getting better work done faster, then it looks like your future employment prospects are down the drain already mate.

      Find yourself a better position where they appreciate that you need to focus for work instead of putting up with constant distractions.

      Of course, this all depends on if don’t you work in a place that requires you to talk to customers / bosses all the time such as retail, sales, or support.

  • Digg Jazz. Neutral music, doesn’t grate with anyone – talk radio or anything with ads can upset the workflow.

    Jazz has that weird ability to make you work longer without even realising where the hours went. Get a long streak of smooth muse & your primmed for extended working blocks.

  • I work in the music industry and find it next to impossible to relegate music to the status of “background”. So I’m either *listening* to the music as part of my work, or I’m working in silence.

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