A couple months ago I was doing recon on some other agencies and came across Big Spaceship’s Cultural Manual. The manual consists of many things that make their office drool-worthy, but the one that really caught my eye was their on-going office playlist that anyone can contribute to – free of judgement or consequence – at any time.
We have an open office and the bosses had been playing around with the idea of office-wide music for a while. As soon as I shared Big Spaceship’s manual with them they ran out of the office that afternoon to buy a Sonos system.
We started keeping a playlist throughout the day, everyone having the ability to add to it through the Sonos app. We bogarted Big Spaceship’s rules of no skipping, but you are allowed to add your song before someone’s on the queue. At one point we tried to enforce a “judgement free zone,” but when you work closely with five people every day who don’t feel shy about expressing their opinions – there are bound to be judgements passed.
With or without judgement, we’re pro-office music and here’s why:
It boosts morale
Music makes us feel good – that’s a fact. When you’re feeling the weekday slump and someone throws on some Meatloaf or my girl Beyonce – how can you not feel a little better? Your head starts banging, your mouth starts to sing along to the words, and before you know it you don’t even mind being at work.
This is a good thing but also a bad thing. It’s a good thing because everyone can feel like a part of the office culture and mood. It’s also a good thing because we’re a group of creative individuals who like to listen to music when we work. Why not do it together? It’s a bad thing because sometimes you don’t want to listen to other people’s music.
You Get to Know Your Coworkers
Bad taste in music aside, there’s a sort of comradery that comes with compiling a playlist that everyone will hear. Music is meant to bring people together, after all. Whether it’s a joke song, or a guilty pleasure, or a classic – there’s always something to laugh or comment on when you’re sharing a playlist with your entire office. This also allows for endless opportunities to make fun of your co-workers for their music choices.
Expand Your Horizons
At the very least, if you’re not interested in feeling better at work or getting to know your office buddies better – you might learn some new music. So there’s that.