In a vibrant co-working space with a close-knitted community, a little background music might indeed be a good idea. Against the incoherent and audible backdrop of footsteps, keyboard tapping, doors closing, general chit-chat, coughs, and sniffles, good music helps to distract from some of the less welcome sounds coming from members and visitors.
A little ambient music can help to tone down the feeling of working and give people the courage to talk and move around, without becoming the center of attention. Good music will surely trigger conversation, break the ice, and ensure a common ground between people.
For co-working spaces that strive to build a close-knitted community and inspire collaboration, music can be a wonderful way to encourage connections. However, music tends to be quite personal. Songs that can make one person happy might have a distinctly negative effect on another.
It could even ensure that the person never returns to the space and this, without doubt, is the last thing any provider wants. To create a space that suits both types of people, it is advisable you create two different areas if you have enough room.
One can be used as a silent room where people will not be allowed to take phone calls or talk, and there will be no music playing. You can choose to play white noise or ambient sounds to help break up the silence. The second room can be designed to be more open and relaxed; a place where music can be played.
Even if the members choose to turn off the music sometimes, it is normal as long as the option is there and available if somebody wants it. If it is not possible to have two separate spaces, then consider putting up a rule that allows music to be played in the morning or evening.
While it will always be better to err on the side of silence or ambient sounds because your members can wear headphones and listen to their own music if they choose, you should know what music is right for your space. You can also consider rotating the type of music you play so that the sounds will remain fresh.
Best Music to Play in Co-working Spaces
When thinking of the best types of music to play in your co-working space, it is necessary to consider the type of clients you have. If they are creative types or writers, then you should go with instrumental or classical music so the words don’t distract them.
The music should not also be loud so as not to hamper phone calls or cause distractions. Nonetheless, here are top genres to consider;
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Truth be told, ambient music is like a graceful, modest version of white noise. It’s not entirely blank but still very hard to explain exactly what it is.
Note that it is a very relaxing sound cape that takes over the space in a room or in your head but doesn’t go past whatever it is you are thinking, doing, or working on. It can also serve as a good cushion between you and those distracting thoughts. But be mindful not to sleep.
It is believed that listening to classical songs takes you back to the periods they were composed, that is why the music still entices so many people. Playing classical music in a co-working space will help to establish an atmosphere of professionalism and can energize or relax depending on which end of the spectrum you flow from.
Also, note that classical music tends to be instrumental and with little or no distracting words. In addition, the ‘Mozart effect, where listening to Mozart may make you smarter, is debated but can be used to your advantage in a co-working environment.
This is the modern wave of classical music composers whose work is often reserved, minimalist but somehow sublime. Its moderation tends to rely on the repetition of certain motifs over and over, and this can be quite relaxing.
According to experts, neo-classical music remains a top choice since it tends to focus on only a few assorted instruments in each song. You should consider starting with composers like Max Richter, Johann Johannsson, and Ludovico Einaudi.
Primarily made as backing for films, soundtrack music can be very suited to study. It is less well crafted to avoid distraction from the main focus: the movie itself. You can decide to do away with the film and replace it with the job at hand, and bingo: you’ve found some great music for your co-working space.
You can equally use video game music as it comes with its own advantages. Videogames tend to require an extensive form of concentration, effort, and mental dexterity, the sorts of which you would need for your work.
Music Without Words
Music with words, which comprises a massive proportion of the ones we have today, can be quite distracting consciously and subconsciously. Truth be told, the more words there are, the worse it is, so hip-hop is never an option in a co-working space.
However, music void of words, which naturally includes ambiance, can be perfectly ideal to pad out space in the brain, giving a perfect cushion for the brain’s activity.
Music With Nature/Environment Sounds
These sorts of sounds have become a very popular wave of music, or sound design, maybe because it put together music and setting. A good number of the most popular ‘songs’ from this genre involve combining ambient music with sounds of nature.
These might include but are not restricted to sounds of rain, the ocean, the breeze, snow, birdsong, creaks, crickets, etc. But there have been developments on this concept. According to experts, by combining music that you can listen to anywhere with sounds that buttress a certain space, you can somehow trick the brain into thinking it is in those places.
Owing to that principle and more, sound designers have in recent times developed soundscapes for anything from a campsite in the Wild West to a restful private library during a snowstorm in the 1600s. Your members can concentrate as normal but get carried away in the blanket of their new reality.
The flexible space industry is growing and competition is increasing, thus leading some spaces to try new things in a bid to differentiate their offerings.
Note that by having music playing softly in the background, you can help to push background noise aside and give room for your members to concentrate. You should also consider getting feedback from your members regarding the issue.