It is estimated that approximately one-third of employees listen to music at work using an iPod, MP3 player, or other portable music device. Employees claim that listening to music improves their job satisfaction and productivity, so it may be beneficial to allow workers to use their iPods, etc., in the office.
However, you should be aware of the potential negative effects that iPods and other portable music devices could have on communication, performance and safety.
- Communication can break down among co-workers because of the difficulty in getting an employee’s attention while he or she is listening to music through earbuds. This sends the message, “Unless you have something really important to tell me, don’t bother me.”
- If an employee plays an iPod or other portable music device through computer speakers, co-workers near that employee can find it disruptive, hampering their concentration.
- Safety is a concern because employees wearing earbuds may miss alarms, warning signals, or shouts by co-workers informing them of potential harm.