Young man in dress shirt laying in grass listening to music on phone with ear buds

A radio in the workplace is priceless when a universally-loved song unites the staff for a few moments of shared musical cheer. In fact, research from Salem’s Laboratory for Complex Brain Networks (LCBN) shows that listening to the ‘right’ kind of music actually helps workers with their concentration. In particular, hearing songs that an individual’s brain identifies as a ‘favourite’ causes brain activity that promotes self-referential thought. In other words, upon a hearing favourite song, your brain concentrates more clearly on the task at hand. Still, your coworkers might not agree with your nomination for the best song of all time, so please don’t monopolize the radio! In fact, the best way to leverage LCBN’s research is to listen through some headphones as you work. For those without a phone or device loaded with tracks, here are some workplace-friendly ways to hear your favourite tracks at your desk.


With applications like training videos included in YouTube’s vast library, many workplaces now approve of staff using the video-sharing site at work. And, unless you have extremely individual tastes, you favourite songs will be on YouTube for you to enjoy. With some browsers in particular, you may find that YouTube videos are accompanied with hyper-targeted ads based on your browsing experience. Installing AdBlocker will quash many of these annoying ads.


YouTube monetizes its advertising. As mentioned, AdBlocker can keep the number of YouTube ads in check. This is not an option with Spotify. Either you pay $9.99 a month for Spotify’s truly extensive music collection or you accept that the free option comes with ads. However, unlike YouTube, whose ads will interrupt you before and after songs, Spotify’s advertising often appears mid-song. However, the LCBN report concludes that our brains focus best we hear our favourite songs from beginning to end, so try to listen without interruptions.

CBC Radio

CBC Radio 2 introduced ads for up to four minutes an hour. Still, in the world of commercial radio, CBC is among the least invasive. And with a wide array of musical styles and web radio channels, CBC is an online music source that seeks to avoid the distractions of its aggressively commercial competitors. If you are looking for a music player on your desktop that understated, CBC’s is among the best.

It’s nice to have options

Many workers ensure that they bring their favourite music to work, so that they are not at the mercy of internet content providers. However, using an electronic handheld device is not always an option at work, so keep these online sources in mind when your brain feels like it needs to hear something familiar.