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Music Versus Podcasts at Work – Are They Distracting & Compromising Your Safety?

Like to listen to podcasts and music whilst you work? It can make your work day more productive and help you concentrate on a task. But is it distracting and can it even turn out to be dangerous in certain lines of work? We all know the saying ‘Silence is golden’, but to some people, complete silence can have a negative effect on their productivity. People have even been known to even pop in their own headphones, to help them escape a noisy environment that makes working harder. Each workplace is different, but we’ve weighed up the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision on safety in the workplace.

Music

Many workers feel that listening to music whilst they work improves their mood and can even make them more productive. The Telegraph looked into a study by Simone Ritter and Sam Ferguson discussing how listening to music can help people work harder and more efficiently. They stated that listening to various types of music affect people and stimulate them into thinking differently, compared to working in silence. 

The general takeaway from the study was, if you needed to be creative when you were working, it would definitely help and spark more original ideas. However, if you were problem solving, a quieter atmosphere would be better, to find a resolution. But, music can be distracting and slow down efficiency and reaction time, if you can’t hear someone else on your team. This can sometimes be a safety issue if you work on a construction site, are driving a delivery van, or need to be very focused on a task and be able to speak to your colleagues. It may not be the best time to listen to your favourite tunes. 

Podcasts

One of the reasons podcasts are so popular, is they easily slot into your busy life. You can listen to them and do something else at the same time. It’s a way of educating ourselves, listening to a story or even changing up a repetitive routine. Some workers engage in podcasts to release their productivity too, but you have to be careful it doesn’t result in a workplace accident. Luckily, there are plenty of companies like the compensation experts you can contact, if the unthinkable does happen. 

Do It Safely

Ultimately, listening to music and podcasts can have a positive effect on employees in a workplace. But, it totally depends on the type of work, the type of music and personal taste of the person working. It’s useful to acknowledge how aware you are when you’re listening to music and podcasts, and what gets you fired up. 

Have a set of rules if you want to listen to music and podcasts. Keep the volume at a reasonable level, so you will know if a colleague wants to engage with you. Don’t use noise-cancelling headphones, as they can completely block out noise, and may compromise your safety whilst you’re at work.


Doug Sandler