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How Background Music Encourages Team Work

Many studies have been conducted on music's effect on consumer behaviour, but more is being researched into the effect background music can have on staff motivation and productivity. This sort of research is especially relevant to employers who endeavour to create workspaces that promote productivity and team work.

Kevin Kniffin, researcher at Cornell University, recently conducted a study on the influence of background music on cooperation. Results from the study indicate that participants who listened to 'happy', rhythmic music were inclined to cooperate more irrespective of factors like age, gender and academic background, compared to those who listened to 'unhappy', less rhythmic music. This positive boost in participants willingness to cooperate was induced regardless of whether they liked the music or not.

Rhythm has a strong pull on people's behaviour through synchronisation. When people listen to music with a steady pulse, they tend to imitate the beat by getting in sync which translates to better cooperation when making decisions. Small inexpensive adjustments to the office atmospherics can assist in team building and work flow.


Suttie, J. 2016. Retrieved from