Many coworking spaces across the world don’t take the productivity of their members lightly. They provide free coffees — to increase their energy levels, office assistants — to help with errands, free Yoga classes — to make them happy, etc all in a bid to make them super productive and get more work done.
Co-workers too engage in various personal rituals/activities to help raise their productivity levels — they don’t leave their productivity entirely in the hands of their host.
These rituals/activities include putting phones on airplane mode for few hours, facing their chairs towards the wall, strict time management, and using ear/headphones, which we are taking a keen interest in due to differing opinions.
Listening to music using ear/headphones reduces concentration, according to a Taiwanese study carried out on college students. These students — 102 of them — did poorly on tests of concentration. Another study of 133 adults found that “listening to hip-hop music was linked to a significant reduction in reading-test scores”.
In this article, however, ear/headphones are the number one recommendation for being super productive while working. In fact, it was found that workers who listened to music completed their task quicker and came up with ideas than those who don’t. Unbelievable, right?
Noise-cancelling ear/headphones are even useful as they almost completely block out surrounding noise, helping co-workers concentrate and get more work done. This was corroborated by Steven Orfield, president of Orfield Laboratories Inc., who said they “can screen out as much as three-fourths of office noise”.
So, what’s the conclusion? Do ear/headphones increase productivity or not? We think it’s down to individual preferences because while different studies have different views on the matter, this is one thing they all seem to agree on. A few of our members corroborate this assertion.
While ear/headphones and music (or any other form of entertainment) is a no-no for some because it distracts them, making them less productive, others are super-productive when listening to their favourite songs with their ear/headphones. It’s an individual thing!
At our coworking spaces (Yaba and Ojodu, Berger), we have put everything in place to make our members productive — high-speed internet, steady power, free coffee, comfortable chairs and desks, etc — but we encourage personal productivity rituals, as long as they don't distract others.