Should You Play Music in a Shared Workspace?

One of the greatest topics of debate for employees that are working in shared workspaces is whether or not it is wise to play music in a shared space. Coworking spaces are naturally going to be filled with plenty of hectic activity. There is bound to be chatter, noise and a variety of other sounds that occur throughout the day. Playing ambient music can often work to drown out some of the less comfortable sounds of an office space such as coughing or sniffling, squeaking chairs and more.

Working in a bustling office space that’s full of people can often be a bit overwhelming. Adding in some soft ambient music can make people feel more comfortable at work. There is an effect that occurs in many large open spaces when there is a lack of music; they can feel more like a library than a collaborative working environment.

Adding in music to your co-working space can have a number of positive effects such as creating a way to break the ice between people and triggering new conversations. Your coworking space can be brought together by your music choices and it’s possible that you can encourage connections by creating voting systems for choice of music.

Music can also be an incredibly personal experience and songs that mean something to one person could have a negative connotation to another. Finding a happy medium for everyone working in your co-working space can be difficult especially when many people have different preferences for the genre of music they like or the artists that they prefer.

Some Top Tips to Consider

–                     Play music in common spaces

–                     Open up music voting for feedback

–                     Keep the volume at an acceptable level

–                     Start a trial run and see how it affects productivity (9am-11pm daily)

–                     Suggest headphones if it is distracting

–                     Hold a town hall to gauge opinion.

If your members enjoy the experience, playing music softly in your shared workspace could become your new normal. If the process doesn’t work for productivity you could consider  offering specific areas of your workspace for music or introducing a headphone policy.

This post was written by Tara Kintz. Tara is a director at Signature Workspace, owned and operated by Cantor Fund Management, offers services and amenities such as private offices, flex space, co-working space, virtual offices, meeting/conference rooms, and more.