Silence. Olga Khazan, writing for The Atlantic, wonders whether wearing headphones and listening to music to avoid the noise in an open plan office is “just replacing one distracting noise with another.” And her research, unsurprisingly, leads her to the inescapable conclusion that music interferes with concentration. Khazan notes that the more engaging the music is, the worst it is for concentration, adding that “[m]usic with lyrics is dreadful for verbal tasks.”
So the next time your boss tells you to don a pair of headphones to drown out the noise of your fellow open plan toilers, send him or her the link to Ms. Khazan’s article along with a request for an office.
Thanks to @QuietEdinburgh for the link.