How Listening to Ambient Noise Can Boost Your Productivity

Coworking spaces can get busy.  Typically, there are few sound barriers to stifle our long-winded business calls or random personal calls that come along during the day.

The noise is exacerbated by the fact that all of those calls and meeting and conversations and lunch breaks are occurring at totally different times, which means that the noise level cannot be predicted day to day.

For this reason, a lot of coworking spaces and open concept offices can also look a bit antisocial with so many people wearing headphones and trying hard not to look at the text message that just beeped on their phones or the coworker across the way they know just wants to gossip.

But putting on headphones does not mean that coworking space members are being productive. It can often be the opposite.

One playlist might be perfect for working out and road trips but does not work well for crunching numbers or designing websites.

A great article on The Muse provides suggestions for websites that offer free ambient noise for you to listen to when the Mozart or Justin Bieber playlists just aren't helping anymore. The article even categorizes its suggestions into feeling states, including:

  1. Relaxed
  2. Distracted
  3. Uninspired
  4. Motivated
  5. Overwhelmed
  6. Peaceful
  7. Stressed
  8. Adventurous


As we all know, our emotions fluctuate throughout a workday, sometimes dramatically, and often due to triggers that are not even work-related.

As our feeling states change throughout the day, so will the interventions needed to support those feelings.

As an old Work Hive member stated:

"I had the perfect short playlist in college I played on repeat that helped me cruise through writing long papers, but over time my musical interests and the type of work has changed so that playlist does not work for me any longer."

Even though "ambient noise" often makes people think bland elevator music and meditation music often makes people fall asleep, the emotion-specific ambient noise might just be the solution for the daily distractors and your productivity.