Why should employers consider music therapy as a benefit for workplace well-being?

Marianne Rizkallah, music therapist for music licensing company PPL PRS

Workplace wellbeing has been a hot topic as employers and employees look to maximise productivity in an increasingly hybrid workplace, especially since the Flexible Working Bill was introduced. Gallup has recently shared some insight into the link between workplace wellbeing and productivity, outlining how when a team’s well-being is low, their productivity is greatly impacted.

So, how can employers improve productivity? One idea is to implement music in the office and offer music therapy as a perk of the job to reap the benefits of music.

Why choose music therapy for your team?

Music therapy for mental well-being provides an alternative method for employees to get the assistance and support they need. It’s a form of psychotherapy that uses music as a tool within it.

One method involves employees bringing meaningful pieces of music to them to illustrate their states of mind and reflecting on it with their therapist. The meaning of the music to each employee, and it being heard and reflected upon by their music therapist, can boost morale and help people feel supported in their workplace. When employees engage in successful therapy, your team is less likely to take time off work for sickness, boosting productivity and maintaining a happy work force. These are my top five reasons why music therapy is a worthwhile investment for any employer.

Regulating mood and reducing anxiety

Music is known to reduce stress and anxiety, both through its properties of heart rate matching and promotion of endorphin creation when listening to music we know or that motivates us. It’s a powerful medium that gets us straight to our emotions without having to use words.

Feeling heard and understood

Being able to share your thoughts and musical experiences that help you express yourself with a trained psychotherapy professional can help people feel heard and understood, reducing stress and building confidence in the process.

…And enabling employees to understand themselves better

How many memories of events personal to us have music associated with them? Perhaps a particular tune was playing on the radio when we heard some big news. Maybe we chose some music to use during childbirth. Working out in therapy what these musical cues mean to us and why we consider them important tells us so much about ourselves that otherwise we may not have realised.

Improving communication via non-verbal cues

Tapping into self-understanding through the music we  identify with and seeing its power with nonverbal communication can help you understand your team’s mood through the music playing. Identifying the feelings music stirs up within us allows us to notice how the hairs stand up on the back of our neck and how being transported back to a time through a piece of music makes us feel. We can share these experiences with other people and start to spot those non-verbal cues in others, too.

Sharing experiences and forming bonds with colleagues

Being able to share music as part of the working day, whether in therapy or with colleagues, gives space for employees to bring something very personal of themselves into the workplace. We have associations with pieces of music because of where we’re from, family ties, associations with events, times in life or as a marker of a community we belong to. These choices and associations show who we are even better than how we describe ourselves using spoken language.

So why not give music therapy a go? You can even bring a bit of the magic into the office by getting the team involved in creating a background music playlist for the office. PPL PRS have created a productivity playlist to boost workplace efficiency with music; getting the team to help build a tailored track list could even further boost morale in the process.

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