Now, I know lots of research has been done on what types of music increase spending, but that made me wonder about the employees working in these stores...employees that cannot escape until it's time for them to "clock out." What about them? How does listening to this music for extended periods of time affect them? New studies have shown that music can influence us in ways that might effect how employers design their work places...and new ways that potential employees might want to evaluate companies they are considering working for.
A recent study by Kevin Kniffin of Cornell University found that employees who listen to happy, upbeat, rhythmic music were much more cooperative, regarless of age, gender, or academic backgrounds, than those who listened to, say, unhappy, non-rhythmic music like heavy metal music as background "noise". Happy music makes us happy, and happy people are more cooperative, right? Well, sort of. A second experiment showed that listening to the happy background music made the workers more cooperative even if their general over-all mood wasn't improved. A control group was then asked to work without any music. Their moods were measured before, during, and after the experiment. Again, the happy music group showed more cooperation than than the non-music group. So, while a better mood can be tied to better cooperation, there was something else going on with the happy rhythmic music that helped make the employees become more cooperative.
It has been shown that listening to music can increase cooperative behavior through synchronization among the listeners. Kniffin wrote, "When people are presented with a steady rhythm or beat, they are inclined to mimic that beat and, in turn, get in sync. That naturally translates into more cooperation during decision-making." The results of the study, it seems, are still considered preliminary; it didn't take into account whether or not the particiapnts liked, disliked, or were familiar with the music being played. But it does show that music can influence workers, clients, and shoppers. This is especially significant for employers. Compared to other, off-site and expensive team-building retreats, simply changing the office soundscape can boost both mood and performance.
Too little attention has been previously payed to how the office environment (background qualities of the workspace), or "atmospherics" as Kniffin calls it, and how it affects behavior, cooperation, and performance. Little things, like eating together, can increase job performance by giving the employees a real sense of camaraderie. often, however, the office social climate is often overlooked.
So, whether you work at a company, are the owner of a company, or someone who's seeking employement at a company...looking into their social and "atmospheric" climates can be a very important element in your success and how happy your stay there will be overall. It's worth checking out!
Have a great week! Hope to see you all back here tomorrow.