I”m not a big “music guy.” I like music, but I don”t know a whole bunch about it. What I do know is that having some tunes on in the background is fantastic in an office.
Here at b2cloud, we have music playing in the office every single day. The range is eclectic, and at any given time we have some hip-hop, dance, metal, rock or light jazz playing. N.E.R.D is pumping at the moment.
Getting a music system set up for a small office is dead simple, if you are willing to spend a little bit to get it set up.
Our system of choice is Sonos, coupled with some music streaming services like Spotify and Rhapsody.
You don”t need to spend thousands on a great sounding system that can power an office of 5 people or 30 people.
For hardware, it”s pretty hard to beat Sonos. Sonos is US based hardware company who make great sounding speaker systems with built in IP capabilities. I highly recommend the , a powerful all in one speaker that connects to your network through WiFi, or ethernet. Although it will set you back around $400, its well worth the investment.
Sonos has free apps for Android, iOS and desktop which allows you to control your music. Through the apps, you can stream music to the speakers straight from your device – i.e. you can play any music that”s in your music library on your smartphone or desktop. Better yet though, get connected through a music streaming service, which Sonos has plenty of built in support for. My favourite has to be Spotify, which has a massive database of music that you can stream to your smartphone, desktop, or indeed play through Sonos.
One of the benefits of the whole set up can also be its downfall, however. Everyone can control the music by having the free Sonos controller software on their computer or phone. In a perfect democratic world, this means everyone should be able to create their own little playlist of a few songs, which plays throughout the office. When this works, it works really well. I have found it”s great for staff morale to allow everyone to have some enjoyable music playing whilst you work. It”s also great for the general ambiance of the office, as it creates a more chilled mood (as long as the music is kept to a reasonable level.)
The other edge of the sword, however, is that generally its pretty difficult for anyone to agree on what constitutes “good music.” Some of my team for example are big into their heavy/death metal music. If this is what they like to work to, and what they enjoy listening to, then great. I dont, however, like to have heavy music blasting that makes me want to punch myself in the head. There”s no way I can be productive with this on. Conversely, my penchant for hip hop and house music doesn”t do much to inspire our developers, who more often than not will have their headphones in listening to their own music.
So, if a gentle medium can be found that everyone enjoys, and no one is being distracted or annoyed by, then having some music playing in the background of your office is hard to beat.