When Music Becomes a Distraction

We all love a bit of music to listen to during the day. A good song can lift our mood and has a direct link to altering our emotional state for both feelings of elation and sadness. Many people listen to music to help them unwind and relax, but the work environment isn’t the place to either relax or unwind.

Better stay away from the headphones when trying to workWhen we are at work we need to concentrate on the task in hand and should your favorite song come onto the radio you will be more likely to be concentrating on singing along to the lyric than the task you are being paid to do. Work colleagues could be injured due to the momentary lapse of their co-worker because his mind was busy relaxing to his favorite song rather than paying attention to the machinery or plant tools that he should have been watching.

My profession has me climbing ladders all day, and I once tried taking my MP3 player to work to help pass the day. Once the music started to play, I simply couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing and had to switch it off from fear of falling off my ladder. This proved to me that music was a major distraction and not something that was appropriate for the working environment.

There are some jobs where the distraction of music doesn’t have the possibility of being detrimental to a workers health, but I still believe that productivity will be greatly decreased due to the employee stopping from time to time to listen to their latest favorite track.

Arguments can be made that we listen to music in our cars when driving and we don’t crash left, right and center. A great many road accidents occur when drivers are too busy trying to find the right CD or radio frequency and are so preoccupied that they take their eye off the road and the next thing they know is that they have smashed into another innocent motorist. The excuse they could offer wouldn’t go down well, ‘Sorry Officer, I was trying to find my Britney Spears CD in the glove box and didn’t see the other car.’ A conviction for careless driving would be the officer’s response.

Music is a beautiful gift, and I would not like to see it outlawed or have a smear campaign ran against it, its just that there are a time and place for its presence and the workplace =is not one of them. Wait until you get home to turn on the stereo so you can sing and dance your way around the house, or when you go to the local bar even but for the sake of your colleague’s safety and your work ethic; keep your mind on the job until clocking off time.