Best music to listen to in the office

It seems that most analysts/interns listen to some sort of music while staring at the computer screen all day. Couldn't survive without it.

What does everyone listen to while working? What helps you keep motivated and focused? Personally, I listen to a lot of house mix/techno on Pandora but tend to switch it up with jazz/rock/rap.

best music to listen to at work

You can make grinding through Mundane tasks easier with positive and upbeat music. The trick is playing music that you are familiar with. This way you tempo and tone of the song lifts you up without distracting you with lyrics.

Language-based activity such as writing or reading is different. Avoid music with lyrics when writing, reading, or absorbing new information. Music with a slower tempo is ideal.

Key Takeaways

  • Use familiar music, downtempo music with no lyrics when doing language work. Use upbeat music when doing mundane work.

MIke Catania Chief Technology Officer at PromotionCode.org

"Familiar music, regardless of the style, directly affects the quality of tasks like these for the better." In fact, the company saw a 24% decrease in input errors three months after adding music to the workplace, says Catania.

How Music Can Make Your Office More (Or Less) Productive

Recommended Reading

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Comments (269)

Jul 20, 2009

di.fm for the win.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

"Oh the ladies ever tell you that you look like a fucking optical illusion" - Frank Slaughtery 25th Hour.

Jul 21, 2009

Lately I've been listening to The Bad Plus, and David Holmes.

Jul 21, 2009

Kanye West - Spaceship

Anything by Jack's Mannequin

Jul 21, 2009

I've been workin this graveshift and I ain't made shit
I wish I could buy me a spaceship and fly past the sky

2pac - All about you
Twista - Hope

Anything that is upbeat and has a real beat to it.

Jul 21, 2009

supernova - kanye west

easy - neyo

Jul 21, 2009

Lots of Michael Jackson stuff recently.
Imeem.com is the truth.

Jul 21, 2009

midwestbanker,

are you in IL, WI, IN, or OH?

Jul 21, 2009

At my elite boutique all the analysts are forced to listen to classical music. We once had some riffraff that turned on that ungodly rap music and were promptly laid off for being ungentlemanly .

Jul 22, 2009
Guest1655:

At my elite boutique all the analysts are forced to listen to classical music. We once had some riffraff that turned on that ungodly rap music and were promptly laid off for being ungentlemanly .

That was actually a rule at my prep school during study hall; you could only listen to classical, as studies have shown it is the only music that has a positive correlation with learning.

Jul 23, 2009
drexelalum11:
Guest1655:

At my elite boutique all the analysts are forced to listen to classical music. We once had some riffraff that turned on that ungodly rap music and were promptly laid off for being ungentlemanly .

That was actually a rule at my prep school during study hall; you could only listen to classical, as studies have shown it is the only music that has a positive correlation with learning.

Correlation does not imply causation.
.........................................................................
I have a next level rolodex.

.........................................................................
I have a next level rolodex.

Jul 21, 2009

cLOUDDEAD
Deltron 3030
Dr. Octagon
DOOM
Madvillan
Quasimoto
...
intelligent hip hop

Jul 21, 2009

lol @Anonymous Monkeyintelligent"

Jul 22, 2009
pruf:

lol @Anonymous Monkeyintelligent"

I know, seems oxymoronic but there are, actually, insightful and intelligent hip hop and rap songs.

One of my favorites is

Blanket by Urban Species Feat. Imogen Heap

...very poetic and well done. Too bad this style of music is hard to come by. Oddly enough, this song is featured in Jessica Biel's new movie where she's a stripper and is played in the club while she is busting out some naked striptease action, lol. Irony?

Jul 21, 2009

MJ right now.

Jul 21, 2009

David Guetta

Jul 22, 2009

And I generally just turn on Pandora

Jul 23, 2009

GrooveShark.com

the best

Jul 23, 2009
Jul 23, 2009
Carlton Banks:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v493/scubastza/B...
LOL @ Lil' Wayne.
Radiohead FTW.

What's the image of (can't view images at work)? Anything with Radiohead winning is, well, a win in my book. See them live.

Jul 23, 2009
h.e.pennypacker:
Carlton Banks:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v493/scubastza/B...
LOL @ Lil' Wayne.
Radiohead FTW.

What's the image of (can't view images at work)? Anything with Radiohead winning is, well, a win in my book. See them live.

It shows a correlation between SAT scores and music preferences.
Basically, it shows that ignorant mainstream hip hop is bad.

Jul 23, 2009

SomaFM's GrooveSalad station is amazing for ambient beats/music. I used it all throughout college when cranking.

Sometimes, though, when it's 1:30 in the morning and I need to power through a few more turns, I will blast classic rock like it's no one's business

Jul 23, 2009

nirvana/ off spring......thrown in some nada surf

Jul 23, 2009

none

Jul 23, 2009

exclusively 80's and Michael Jackson

Jul 23, 2009

just kidding...

not to ruffle feathers but isn't Kanye majorly overrated? Find myself changing the station when his songs are on, like every 2 minutes somewhere. Also what is with the Black Eyed Peas? they are more annoying than Gaga. And that Jason Mraz song, was cool 50,000 plays back.

Jul 24, 2009

If I'm not doing something that requires a lot of thought or concentration, which to be honest anybody who has worked as an analyst knows is a very common occurrence, I actually listen to a lot of talk radio as it's quite interesting and helps you to feel like you are connecting with the outside world while stuck at your desk. Towards the end of the week I tend to also listen to a lot of livelier music and electronic music in prep for the wkend since that sort of stuff seems outta place on a monday afternoon.

Jul 24, 2009

I agree, no-words type of music works well...regardless I still don't know why the hell people like dubstep, guess I'm 'too old.' On that note, punk rock and reggae are my go-to.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009
Nefarious-:

www.grooveshark.com

Just discovered this site a couple days ago because of this post... +SB

If your dreams don't scare you, then they are not big enough.

"There are two types of people in this world: People who say they pee in the shower, and dirty fucking liars."-Louis C.K.

Jul 24, 2009

Pandora - finally moving (James brown remix)

Jul 24, 2009
laxmonkey:

Pandora - finally moving (James brown remix)

just fired this up. epic.

Jul 24, 2009

symphonic radio on pandora

Jul 24, 2009

neo tokyo - sleepyhead remix

Jul 24, 2009

MGMT v. Notorious BIG - Nasty Feel

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

deadmau5

Jul 24, 2009

DJ Chus, John Digweed, Richie Hawtin, DJ Dan......

'We're bigger than U.S. Steel"

Jul 24, 2009

Might be off topic but I once sat next to a guy who jammed "Hustle Hard" every moment he was trading

Nobody wants to work for it anymore. There's no honor in taking the after school job at Mickey D's. Honor's in the dollar, kid.

Jul 24, 2009

Avicii -- Levels

Jul 24, 2009
Solidarity:

Avicii -- Levels

yeah... this, or fade into darkness... or some guetta...

Jul 24, 2009
Solidarity:

Avicii -- Levels

just peed my pants a little when i saw this. amazing. techno is good and to be honest classical is not an awful thing to listen to for a change-up.

Jul 24, 2009

strobe by deadmau5

Jul 24, 2009

Spotify

Jul 24, 2009

Fatboy Slim - Michael Jackson

Jul 24, 2009

huey lewis and the news

Jul 24, 2009
lookatmycock:

huey lewis and the news

this did not get the attention it deserved

Jul 24, 2009

Pearl Jam . Danny Tenaglia Global Underground albums...

'We're bigger than U.S. Steel"

Jul 24, 2009

Fuck David Guetta

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Jul 24, 2009

Kenny Chesney tho FTW

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Jul 24, 2009

Avicii X David Guetta - Sunshine

Ghosts n Stuff will always be #1 for modeling though...

Jul 24, 2009

jay-z, can't listen to shit without words

its one way or the other: hate me or admire.

Jul 24, 2009

"Millionaires don't use astrology, billionaires do"

Jul 24, 2009

.

Jul 24, 2009

turntable.fm

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

Ludwig Lebrun - Oboe concerto No. 4....seriously who does any task while mind raping themselves with a techno beat.

Jul 24, 2009

Love STS9, but not when I am cranking. I like to listen to Biggie/Ludacris/Dre/ect while at work.

Jul 24, 2009

Groove Salad on SomaFM. I can't listen to radio stations that play any well known songs, etc because I dislike too many of them and I will focus on the lyrics instead of the work. Groove Salad keeps my mind engaged enough that it doesn't wander off while I am trying to be productive. Ambient music/beats for the win.

Regards

  • MTrader
  •  Jul 24, 2009

Definitely Avicii

Jul 24, 2009

I dubstep my balls off, shit helps you crank hard, but also do avicii etc. Hypem.com is the shit

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

quantic - time is the enemy

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Jul 24, 2009

I listen to 'Shoot To Thrill' by AC/DC whenever I practice financial modeling. Awesome song.

Jul 24, 2009

Of course dubstep, the fuck are you guys thinking?

Also, this remix is pretty sick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmUiTLLc4ok

Jul 24, 2009

Sigur Ros Pandora Channel if I need to relax
Chromeo Pandora Channel if I need to keep it moving

Jul 24, 2009

i dont do financial modelling but it would probably be The Weeknd, some classical music or some Duke Ellington

Get it!

Jul 24, 2009

Childish Gambino

Jul 24, 2009
Nefarious-:

Childish Gambino

Love Childish Gambino but his lyrics are so dense that it distracts me if I listen while I'm working

Jul 24, 2009

Spotify all day long

Jul 24, 2009

Almost nothing mentioned above is techno. It's all house / progressive house / electro house, etc... And it's all pretty awesome.

Avicii & Swedish House Mafia are killing it out there...so good.

Jul 24, 2009

I start out with something aggressive like Rick Ross/Lil Wayne when I'm spreading financials. When it comes to financial analysis, I'll switch to trance like Markus Shulz and then wind down with Radiohead. Its served me pretty well so far.

Jul 24, 2009

Justice -- Civilization

Jul 24, 2009

BBC essential mix..... AVICII, Calvin Harris, etc etc etc..... the mixes are 2-3 hours long.... can jam out for ages.

Jul 24, 2009
mfriedman:

BBC essential mix..... AVICII, Calvin Harris, etc etc etc..... the mixes are 2-3 hours long.... can jam out for ages.

Finally man, waiting for someone to say essential mix.

Fuck Guetta.

Jul 24, 2009

Seems like a lot of people here are into insturmental, minimal lyrics when working.

What about:

Glitch Mob

Daft Punk

Cut Chemist

Blockhead

RjD2

Jul 24, 2009

Always thought this video was pretty great:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7TPcGksW5M

Jul 24, 2009

If you don't have this mixtape from Glitch Mob, you are seriously missing out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NflgXN2oekM

Jul 24, 2009

This has also been a clutch go to when trying to study or get work done for like the past 5 years. Pretty amazing song by Aesop Rock. He made it for that nike product that hooks your shoes up to your iPod. The point of it is to lyrically capture a jog (the warm up, the middle part and the cool down).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASP3aZLPsb4

Jul 24, 2009

phil collins for comps

whitesnake for accretion/dilution

Jul 24, 2009

rhcp

Jul 24, 2009

Funeral by Band of Horses (butch clancy remix) if u want a nice calming electro song

Jul 24, 2009

If you like Tiesto, he puts out a weekly hour long radio show podcast from Amsterdam. Combination of his songs, his mixes and other songs.

Tiesto Clublife: http://www.tiesto.com/clublife

Jul 24, 2009

Mumford & Sons.

Jul 24, 2009

The best thing to listen to when doing mindless work is porn audio. Nothing gets the blood flowing quite like that.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jul 24, 2009

If any of you dig Indian classical music, this stuff is amazing

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheShrutibox

Jul 24, 2009

Avicii - Levels

download

http://hulkshare.com/myggogkoyh2h

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

For those that like EDM/house

www.mattdarey.com

Check out the Hard Rock Sofa and Morgan Page guest mixes to start

Jul 24, 2009

For those that like EDM/house

www.mattdarey.com

Check out the Hard Rock Sofa and Morgan Page guest mixes to start

Jul 24, 2009

Avicii and a bunch of ambiance

Jul 24, 2009

Listen to :
Keep the Streets empty for me - Fever Ray (yunyx remix).wmv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfTZ1gwHOCQ&feature...

Jul 24, 2009

ASOT

Jul 24, 2009

Dash Berlin

Jul 24, 2009

Pandora, all day every day.

Jul 24, 2009

depends on your group really

there are less professional things... I heard a story about a VP who had a World of Warcraft addiction hahaha and would play with the speaker/headset in his office.

Jul 24, 2009

Alot of neo-jazz at work. Keeps me calm so I don't have to put my hands on a bitch.

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

Jul 24, 2009

i listen to this good deep house stream on my ipod when im on the desk.... www.dogglounge.com

Jul 24, 2009

Best to use the headphone in only one year so you don't start humming or miss anything being said around you.

Jul 24, 2009

Analyst got fired about a year before I got to the bank for playing poker online. No idea how he got around the blockers, but a VP walked by and told him to come to his office. 10 minutes later his stuff was off his desk.

I remember one time getting so overloaded I took more adderall than I needed to, rolled up my sleeves and had the headphones in on full blast. I could see people walking by being like wtf is he doing. Didn't care, most productive day/night of my life.

It is what it is

Jul 24, 2009

Don't use headphones. If an MD is yelling at you from the hall you want to hear him. That said, we were allowed to listen to music after 7, nobody really cared.

An MD I worked with in the summer used to listen to 50 cent on his iPad all day everyday. It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in banking, he'd randomly email me youtube links to new rap songs he'd find too.

Jul 24, 2009

Pandora and grooveshark all day. One headphone in. Currently I have hypnotize by biggie playing.

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

SB for knowledge of Nujabes.

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009
    • 1
Jul 24, 2009

fratbeats.com homework mix is pretty good

Jul 24, 2009

Turn My Swag On - Soulja Boy Tell' Em

RIP

Jul 24, 2009

For me, no music promotes brain activity like good ole techno lol. I dont know many songs by name but bpm on sirius usually does the trick.

Jul 24, 2009

Agree with jazz/funk (incl some Jamiroquai a la Journey to Arnhemland), rythmic, soft and without lyrics. Also bossanova (e.g. toquinho), Gotan project/Thievery corporation and some classic music.

Jul 24, 2009

Can't live without music (unless Nicki Minaj or T-pain's in it).
Great taste, OP.

The Auto Show

Jul 24, 2009

trace w/ vocals is fine for me

Jul 24, 2009

Chopin

Jul 24, 2009

Anything with lyrics only distracts me, but I've been studying at Panera lately, and they have some nice classical/orchestra type music playing in the background over the speakers. I find this to be a nice stimulation without being distracting.

Jul 24, 2009
Art.Vandelay:

Anything with lyrics only distracts me.

glad i'm not alone on this

Jul 24, 2009

Heat of the Moment
Final Count Down
Africa by Toto
That "Half way there" song
Journey, obv
LSO Rap

I am not joking.

"That dude is so haole, he don't even have any breath left."

Jul 24, 2009

Mayer Hawthorne
Youngblood Brass Band (the call and response in Brookyln is awesome)

Jul 24, 2009

Nothing gets me more focused, whether to get laid or to do work, then EDM.

Jul 24, 2009

I rock out to gangnam style. Shit is amazing for modeling

Jul 24, 2009

We Drift Like Worried Fire- Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

It's a 20 minute instrumental song. Helps me to pass the time.

Jul 24, 2009

A State of Trance -- Armin Van Buren

There's tons of them, can't go wrong with any of them.

Jul 24, 2009

I'm digging Klingande right now - Jubel and Punga are both jams.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6vSf0cA9qY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfvBbI8qyEQ

Jul 24, 2009

Overwerk does it for me

Jul 24, 2009

WallStreetOasis Contributing Author - Intern

Check out my Blog

Check out my Twitter

Jul 24, 2009

I like to listen to the full discography by Nujabes.

Jul 24, 2009

french montana radio on pandora. haannnn

Jul 24, 2009

SMoothh JAzzzz

Jul 24, 2009

Kvelertak - really gets the blood pumping.

Jul 24, 2009

Buffalo Killers - Get It

mbavsmfin:

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

Jul 24, 2009

What I chose for my last all-nighter:

The Strokes- Is This It
Moby- Play
Kendrick Lamar - Section 80
MF Doom- Operation Doomsday
50 cent- Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Eminem- The Eminent Show
J Dilla- Donuts
ATCQ - Midnight Marauders

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." --Abraham Lincoln

    • 1
Jul 24, 2009

Surprised there's no Radiohead in there.

Jul 24, 2009

blink 182 - adams song

Jul 24, 2009

That's such a depressing song. I really hope you're kidding.

Jul 24, 2009

game of thrones 2 minute intro on continuous loop

    • 1
Jul 24, 2009

duran duran - wild boys

Jul 24, 2009

)

Jul 24, 2009

Soul music, unless I'm at the office.

Matrick:

[in reply to Tony Snark"]

Why aren't you blogging for WSO and become the date doctor for WSO? There seems to be demand.

BatMasterson:

[in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

Jul 24, 2009

requiem for a dream on repeat. epic track.

Jul 24, 2009

This:

and whatever song was playing in the background during the Godfather baptism scene when those revenge-killings were going on.

generally, songs about ambition, success, not giving up, and getting revenge.

Jul 24, 2009

Lol can't figure out this video posting.

When I'm feeling mellow: stuff like Pearl Jam
When it's go time: stuff like Metallica

Generally anything in this thread: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/all-time-gre...

Mix in some Above & Beyond Anjunabeats from time to time, foreign music, merengue and other Latin music, Eminem, etc.

Jul 24, 2009

Well, occasionally I get away from listening to all of the Nickelback albums on repeat and go with something like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9xbn7aabtA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X98HX5nbsCI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRcrZ8CC2Vo

Kap Slap is always a good listen, as well.

Jul 24, 2009

EDM (Calvin Harris station on Pandora)
Indie (Sunshine Indie Pop on Songza)
Epic Film Scores (Inception/Gladiator/Dark Knight Rises-based stations on Pandora)

Jul 24, 2009
cinnamontoastcrunch:

Epic Film Scores (Inception/Gladiator/Dark Knight Rises-based stations on Pandora)

This. Also, a lot of koto music, opera, classical, metal, electric and avant garde music. Philip glass, John Cage, Aphex twin, Mastodon, Rimski Korsakov come to mind. Also, nature sounds.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Jul 24, 2009

Everything that Pitchfork gives shitty ratings to

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

btbanker - Bravo! This song is greatness!

Jul 24, 2009

Hova! Hova!

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

When you got to meet that deadline, you can't go wrong with "Hard in Da Paint" by Waka Flocka Flame.

And don't you dare play the clean version...it takes away from the authenticity and beauty of this masterpiece.

"I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

Jul 24, 2009

sex music

Jul 24, 2009
Ron Paul:

sex music

You must be a trader. If you are a former Lehman Bro you might like Still Swinging.

Jul 24, 2009

Straight rap nigga !

Jul 24, 2009

Depends on the bank - Goldman is mostly klezmer, CS/UBS lots of Wagner, Citi has the Star Spangled Banner on repeat, BAML you mostly just hear rats drowning...

It's case by case

Jul 24, 2009

Not one mention of Led Zeppelin?

...insert "don't wanna live on this planet anymore" meme here

Jul 24, 2009
woodywoodford:

Not one mention of Led Zeppelin?

...insert "don't wanna live on this planet anymore" meme here

led who? u mean ledsey lohan?

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009

Gym: Lots of melodic death metal, heavy metal.
Chillin: Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Muse, Pink Floyd just to name a couple.

I can't stand rap :|

Jul 24, 2009
StryfeDSP:

Gym: Lots of melodic death metal, heavy metal.
Chillin: Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Muse, Pink Floyd just to name a couple.

I can't stand rap :|

You just dont know good rap. Check this out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIXUgtNC4Kc

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
Jul 24, 2009
StryfeDSP:

Gym: Lots of melodic death metal, heavy metal.
Chillin: Led Zeppelin, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Muse, Pink Floyd just to name a couple.

I can't stand rap :|

When did you receive your first AARP card?

Jul 24, 2009

white noise

Jul 24, 2009

I think anyone who listens to 'house music' or whatever outside of being shithammered or rolling should be made to live on a desert island filled with fist pumping hairy spanish dudes for the rest of their life.

"IBIZA IBIZA WEE JUS COME HERE TO PARTYYY"

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

Jul 24, 2009
Kenny Powers:

I think anyone who listens to 'house music' or whatever outside of being shithammered or rolling should be made to live on a desert island filled with fist pumping hairy spanish dudes for the rest of their life.

"IBIZA IBIZA WEE JUS COME HERE TO PARTYYY"

yeah bruh you dont sound ignorant

Jul 24, 2009

I've also really enjoy themed album sets.

The Scarecrow Trilogy by Avantasia is phenomenal.

Jul 24, 2009

Fiona Apple, Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn, Bon Iver, Talking Heads, Joanna Newsom, Florence + The Machine, Springsteen, The Smiths.

Been really into The Lumineers and Alabama Shakes recently, too.

Jul 24, 2009

House music, club, ibiza, trance, electro

Jul 24, 2009

A must for anyone in finance:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tnAbKuGss4Y

Jul 24, 2009
Comment
Jul 24, 2009
Comment

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009
Jul 24, 2009