Friday, 21 March 2008

Music and creativity

From an article that landed in my inbox....

Similarly, whenever I hear a radio station urging listeners at work to call in, I wonder: Do employees really think that their productivity, error rate, and performance are not affected if they are paying that much attention to something else? Or do they just not care?

Music has less impact than talk, though I’m not as productive with music on, unless the activity is pretty routine. (Leaf raking appears to be just about as efficient. The bike rack was past my limit.) Nevertheless, I’ll concede that some people may not be less productive when listening to music. Computer programmers, as a class, seem to believe, almost as a matter of “religion,” that music is required for productivity. I’ve worked with any number of them who are “devout” listeners and productive—so I’ll defer, reluctantly.

Ok, I’m the boss, and the owner of the company, so there is more in it for me. But is it really that extreme to expect people to pay attention when we’re paying them for their time? My e-pinion is that “serious” workers don’t have talk and music on. To be sure, some jobs are so mindless that productivity isn’t affected. Or are there such jobs?

-- Bob Brady, BLR CEO

Music and work.

For me they are inextricably linked. My work suffers when I try to toil in silence. My focus is off. I get distracted. I wander away mentally, and sometime physically. But according to the quote above from Bob Brady, CEO of BLR, the fact that HE is not as productive when music is playing means that he and I and every other worker on the planet ought not listen to music while working. Pretty powerful in his own mind, this Mr. Brady NOT of the blended-family-with-six-kids-three-of-them-with-hair-of-gold-

This man, who admits he works better without music on, believes he should decide for the rest of us. Even in the face of evidence, from the programmers he has seen who work best with music, he declares that the rest of us should work in silence.

And we wonder what's wrong with American business!

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