It’s often said that music is what makes the world go around. There’s a myriad of different variations on this saying. Others might point out music as the spice of life. And it’s hard to disagree. Most of us can look back at our lives and see much of it with a soundtrack. Music gives us energy to do some amazing things. It sets the mood and frames events in unique ways. And above all else, there’s just the simple fact that music is fun. We often just feel good when we happen to catch music in the background.
People often forget that this isn’t limited to our free time. We don’t leave our emotions at home when we go to work. And there’s ample evidence at this point that music can enhance our performance at any number of tasks. This presents a somewhat odd situation when one really looks at the average business environment.
We usually don’t hear music in the office. If there’s any music, it’ll typically be what most people call elevator music. This is music that’s almost jarringly unremarkable. The kind of music that we’d usually run from not toward if we heard it in the distance. Oddly, when one really thinks about it there’s only one mood to describe elevator music. And that word is lethargic. This is dramatically opposed to the feelings one would hope to cultivate in a business environment. One would instead hope to fire up the employees. People should feel some energy and excitement when they’re hard at work. They should feel motivated and creative when brainstorming new ideas.
One can see this principle at work when considering a field of psychology centered around our relationship with music. Music psychology highlights some interesting facts about music and our relationship with it. And music psychology in turn has some similar points to what we find in strategic management. The business world is heavily dependent on academic psychology. In fact, marketing as we know it today is a direct offshoot of academic psychology.
This all should make it less surprising that many companies are looking for something, such as music for business. Companies who made use of modern marketing earlier than the competition were able to get a huge advantage. And likewise, this holds true for companies working with music psychology. The basic premise of music in the business world comes down to how a company makes use of resources.
The people within a company are ultimately the most important resource it has to work with. But what can one do with people beyond the obvious implication that they’ll perform their job? Music psychology suggests that a company can help and inspire employees by making use of various types of music. The methods by which companies do so can vary on a case by case basis.
But in general, one can think of it as the mirror image of how music is used for marketing. When music is used for marketing it’s meant to inspire the customer base. But music within the business world can also inspire the people working within that company.