What You Need to Know About Playing Music at Your Business

What You Need to Know About Playing Music at Your Business

You’ve probably heard about the experiment where they proved that corn grows better if it’s “listening” to classical music. The control group of plants that was “listening” to noise withered up and died.

But what about Homo Sapiens? Do people work better when music is being played in the workplace, or not?

It’s A Complex Question

To play or not to play – that is the question.
The question is actually a bit more complex than it appears on the surface. And actually, it breaks down into a number of sub-questions:

  • Does music make me more productive or less productive in doing my assigned task?
  • Does my music distract my co-workers and make them less productive?
  • Does wearing headphones appear unprofessional in an office setting

Here is a video showing how music does make you more productive at work.

The “Golden Rule” of Office Music

The “golden rule” governing all of these questions is quite logically, “What does the boss think?” Maybe better referred to as “the rod of iron.” If your company has a written policy about music in the workplace then there’s your answer. Case closed.

But if there’s nothing written, then what. Should I just start wearing my headphones and see if anybody complains. Probably better to check with your supervisor first. No sense in picking an unnecessary quarrel.

Guidelines for Listening to Office Music

Well, let’s say there’s no written policy and your supervisor doesn’t care. Is it then a matter of personal preference?

Not exactly. There are still some other factors to consider. What are the pros and cons?

Here are some guidelines:

  • Soothing elevator music is generally more likely to enhance productivity than constantly being distracted by the words of a song.
  • Keep the volume down even if you’re wearing your headset. Lower decibels is less distracting for both you and your co-workers.
  • Stay alert for movement in your cubicle. Somebody may actually want your attention.
  • Consider your job description. If you’re in customer service or frequently on the phone, it’s probably not a good idea. But if you’re a writer or a programmer, good chance listening to music will work well for you.
  • Don’t join in on the chorus and try not to gyrate to the beat – someone might think you’re having a seizure and call 911.
  • Consider just using music occasionally — when you need the mood boost.
  • Employers need to consider legal and licensing issues and the possible need for a Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) or Performing Rights Society (PRS) license.

In Conclusion….
To sum it all up, music can be a productive factor in the workplace. It can stimulate creativity and reduce boredom, and ramp up motivation. Those are all good things. But don’t neglect the all-important company policy if it exists and be sensitive to your fellow employees. If all that checks out then by all means — let the good times roll.

Can I Play Music in my Restaurant?

Can I Play Music in my Restaurant

Music sets the mood for a relaxing and memorable stay in a restaurant from a customer’s point of view. We usually hear classical music when we step into a fine dining restaurant, while we hear soft rock to alternative pop music in a casual diner (mostly aired from the radio). In some diners though, they have a jukebox to play music. You see music soothes the soul and it in some ways define our very moods, which is why we can relate a lot to it.

Music in an establishment

In some countries, playing any type of music, whether it is in a restaurant, a bar, or any public place is allowed. Airing songs from the TV or the radio is also allowed. However, in some countries like Canada, the US and UK, playing music in your establishment is not allowed. Singers, songwriters and music labels spend time, effort; resources and intellect to produce the music that we enjoy today, and it is only fair that, just like a worker who did his job right, musicians also want fair treatment.


The music that we hear anywhere is someone’s intellectual property and is therefore protected by copyrights law. This means that only the copyright owners have the right to play or perform their songs, and if someone uses their music without permission, they will face a big fine that the copyright owner can declare to recover damages ranging from $750 per violation, to $150,000 if a court elects the violation deserves it.

Should you get a license?

Depending on the size of the establishment, the owner must secure a license before airing or playing any type of music.

  • Cd’s and purchased music online – Any type of music that you purchase, should only be for your private use. If you intend to let the public hear it, like play it over your restaurant, necessary licensing fees apply.
  • Live Music – aside from paying the band, you also need to pay for copyrights on the songs that your band is going to play, unless they are playing all originals.

How to Get a License

Songwriters, composers and music label companies join one of three Performing Rights Organizations that authorizes their work to the public, and those are the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC . The PROs send royalties to the copyright owners.

It is better to get a blanket license from each of the PRO’s which allows the licensee to play any of the music from each PRO’s library. In any case, playing music comes with a price.