Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Top 10 songs to listen to while working to boost productivity

Top 10 songs to listen to while working to boost productivity

These tunes aren't just songs; they may be the secret to powering your workday!

We all have our own work habits — one of the most common being listening to music while immersed in our tasks. As it stands, over 94% of employed people surveyed prefer to listen to music while they work, be it music played in their workplace or on their own personal devices.

This affinity for music isn't merely a passing trend; it's rooted in the recognition of music as a powerful tool. It can conjure up emotion, help relieve stress, and improve concentration. In fact, a recent study in Harvard Business Review affirmed that music can be used to boost productivity while working.

Not surprisingly, there are currently countless work playlists curated by many individuals made available online. To get a better understanding of the songs and artists people just can’t get enough of while they work, TollFreeForwarding.com studied nearly 4,000 work-related Spotify playlists and over a million songs to find the tracks that appear most frequently.

These tunes aren't just songs; they may be the secret to boosting your workday.

Top 20 songs to listen to for workplace productivity 

  1. Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) – Train
  2. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
  3. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  4. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
  5. Watermelon Sugar – Harry Styles
  6. As It Was – Harry Styles
  7. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston
  8. Closer – The Chainsmokers
  9. Circles – Post Malone
  10. Flowers – Miley Cyrus
  11. Sunflower – Post Malone
  12. No Scrubs – TLC
  13. Adore You – Harry Styles
  14. Hey, Soul Sister – Train
  15. Take On Me – a-ha!
  16. Shut Up and Dance – WALK THE MOON
  17. Yellow – Coldplay
  18. Till I Collapse – Eminem
  19. Work From Home – Fifth Harmony
  20. Africa – TOTO

These songs include a mix of both classic and more recent tracks, spanning several genres ranging from classic rock to hip-hop.

Further, the study found the most popular artists found on the combined list of the total 150 songs.

Most popular artists to listen to at work 

  1. Eminem – five songs
  2. Ed Sheeran – four songs
  3. Hans Zimmer – four songs
  4. Harry Styles – four songs
  5. Coldplay – three songs
  6. Post Malone – three songs
  7. Red Hot Chili Peppers – three songs
  8. AC/DC – two songs
  9. Billie Eilish – two songs
  10. Bruno Mars – two songs

According to music theorist and founder of the music hub AllAxess, Joel Smith, there are five components of these songs that make them ideal for the workplace:


The tempo of music can affect the mood of the listener. While downbeat and slow songs tend to make a person relax, upbeat tempos can be energy boosts. According to Smith, moderate to upbeat tempos can increase energy and alertness.

Lyric content

In addition to tempo, lyrical content of a song can improve listeners’ moods and create a comforting ambiance in the workplace. Particularly, songs with positive, uplifting, or nostalgic lyrics can improve mood and motivation.

Steady rhythm

Like tempo, rhythm can greatly boost moods and increase productivity. A consistent rhythm can help individuals go into a ‘flow’ state, a mental state of immersion in an activity.

Repetitive structures

There’s comfort in repetition, especially in music, says Smith. This can aid concentration as the listeners’ mind doesn’t need to predict what comes next. 


Lastly, familiarity in song, like a repetitive structure, helps to create a sense of comfort for the listener, enabling them to focus on the task at hand. This can helps reduce feelings of stress or isolation in a work setting. 

Lead image / 123RF

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window