This Infographic Will Tell You What Music You Should Listen To At Work

What’s the ideal music for your workday? Before you put on headphones to drown out the distractions of your open office, check out this infographic for a little inspiration.

This Infographic Will Tell You What Music You Should Listen To At Work
[Image: Flickr user Fe Ilya]

It’s no secret that music can have a huge impact on our brains and bodies. For one thing, classical music can improve our visual attention and ambient music makes us focus harder, which is why the two are great choices for creative professionals.


How about people who exercise for a living, like athletes and coaches? Not surprisingly, pumping iron works better when we’re also pumping the beat. This is because music competes for our brain’s attention, and it therefore drowns out our brain’s cries of fatigue.

In fact, music’s effect on athletes is so dramatic that cyclists who listen to music require 7% less oxygen than those who cycled in silence, according to a recent study published by the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. The higher the BPM, or tempo, the better for athletes, which is why rock, punk, and rap/hip hop are top on the list.

And based on what engineers from the likes of Facebook and Pinterest told us they listen to, we can conclude that a variety of genres, from jazz to techno are appropriate for those chained to a computer all day.

If you’re currently wondering which Pandora station to tune into to get in the zone, this tongue-in-cheek and not at all scientific infographic from speaker company Sonos gives a guide for the best tunes based on what your job function is.

Of course it all comes down to what music keeps you motivated and focused –traditional genre or not. Craving something with a beat that would keep building and never get boring Zerply CEO Christofer Karltorp listens to video game music, which he said activates an “in it to win it” mentality while working.

This baby has clearly found that heavy metal is the best music for a lunch break.

And while some may argue that music is distracting, studies actually show in many cases that “safe” music–music that is somewhere between stimulating and sedative, like easy-listening, soft-rock, up-beat smooth-jazz, and tunes with a
touch of ethnic world-music flavor–trumps silence. And it certainly beats listening to the one-sided conversation going on behind you.


So go ahead, pump up the beat a little bit. You’ll be more productive for it.

About the author

Rachel Gillett is a former editorial assistant for’s Leadership section. Her work has been featured on,, and elsewhere.