Editors Pick

Why you need to have a happy workforce

Music can help improve wellbeing
7th December 2022

The Power of Music: Building mentally stimulating and thriving workspaces through sound

Alexandra Livesey, COO of Clockwise, leading flexible workspace provider across the UK, talks about their experience in using music to create productive spaces across their spaces.

“Post-COVID hybrid working policies are now standard across most industries, and we have seen a steep rise in the need for flexible workspaces. At Clockwise, we give businesses and individuals the opportunity to come together on a flexible basis, in line with this new working model. For the days that the team do come together in an office environment, it’s important to have the right spaces to do so. We pride ourselves on creating environments that inspire and generate a sense of community, drawing together people from different industries and market sectors, while also providing spaces without distraction. We consider all senses across key member touch-points; the look and feel, the scent, the temperature and of course the music; which all impact how people experience the space. We then optimise these to support productivity.

We have recently been focusing on the sounds of our work spaces in particular, for which we have partnered with music specialists Music Concierge, who use science to help with their curation process. They have created bespoke playlists for our buildings that drive productivity, motivate and inspire our members throughout the day.

We have considered many elements including the changing mood of music across our spaces at different times of the day and different days of the week. We want to not only support our members in their working life, but in their social life too, and create spaces where they can connect and create with fellow Clockwise members, something that is hugely important to us as a host to many entrepreneurs and start-ups. For example, on a Monday morning it’s all about getting your head down and into gear as opposed to a Thursday or Friday afternoon, where music can aid us by stimulating social connection.

We have also ensured that the mental wellbeing of our members has been considered and prioritised in our work with Music Concierge, and we have investigated ways that we can enhance the mental health of our members throughout the workday through music.

It’s fantastic to be working with Music Concierge and manipulating music in a way that creates another medium through which we can look after our members and improve their lives.”

Rob Wood, Creative Director and Founder of Music Concierge, dives deeper into the science behind office music choices.

“We have been working closely with Clockwise to bring their flexible workspaces to life in a way that focuses, excites, motivates, connects and calms members depending on the time of day. Clockwise offices are multi-dimensional spaces that hold a buzz of activity in so many different forms, and we use music to support this. A working day often promises meetings, solo work, reading, talking on the phone, socialising and so much more.  Spaces, times, days, specific moments and moods all come into play as we curate and streamline one of life’s greatest pleasures, to create an uplifting working environment.

One of the first things we did when we started working with Clockwise, was to look at their different layouts and zones and how music would mirror their uses in sound format. For example, quiet workspaces require linear music that doesn’t change in pace or tempo too much, doesn’t have hugely prominent vocals, and doesn’t have too many different verses and choruses. This keeps the brain from becoming distracted, and actually stimulates our ability to focus and hone in on a task.

In contrast, their reception area required welcoming but calming music that makes its members feel at ease as soon as they walk in door, and likely ahead of stepping into a meeting space. Whereas within a meeting room, music must be linear but can be slightly more enthused to forge a creative, collaborative environment amongst colleagues.

Our work hasn’t just been confined to space but also the time of day is a hugely important factor to consider when curating music for a workspace like Clockwise. From the morning coffee to the afternoon cuppa or occasional glass of wine, our workdays alter in mood and activity, and we work on creating a space where music not only reflects this but supports the flow.

As Clockwise members stroll in to embark on their day, we fill the communal spaces with invigorating music that brightens and awakens the mind, getting us ready to take on the day. As the day goes on, we fade into productivity stimulating tracks and calming tunes. When five o’clock comes around, and we begin to wind down after a hard day’s work, we start to feed in a more vibrant vibe, allowing members to decompress and let go of stress as they move into their relaxing evenings. For those connecting on a social level in the early evening, we pump connecting upbeat music through the Clockwise social spaces.

We all know that Fridays are a whole different ball game to Mondays, and we must reflect that in the sounds we channel into the office space. We want to promote that end of the week feeling ahead of the weekend when Thursday or Friday afternoon come around.

Music brings people together, creating a sense of community and promoting solidarity, friendship and trust. There is nowhere more important to nurture these values than the working environment, as teams work to foster a group dynamic. We ensure to choose music that motivates and connects while dropping in familiar favourites to bring people together.

Social interaction is hugely important in a job, but it is just as important a creating an environment that stimulates and calms in equal capacities and makes for a mentally and emotionally fulfilling workday. One strategy we implement to promote this is by providing pockets of stimulation throughout the day, by creating meaningful moments. We disperse widely unknown songs throughout playlists, allowing members to discover something new that they enjoy and can revisit. It breaks up heads down work and allows a moment to decompress and step back into the moment.

Self-care and mental wellness are instrumental to what we aim to do at Music Concierge, as we orchestrate music to work for our clients and their clients alike. This has become a large part of our work with Clockwise with it being a key value of theirs also. Motivating mindsets are a huge part of what we strive to create through our work. We also want to help people to understand ways in which they can tap into inspiring themselves through music. The next time you’re knuckling down for a hard day’s work (whether it be in the office or at home) and need that extra push, our recommendation is to queue some contemporary classical, instrumental electronica and relaxed jazz styles of music for ultimate productivity.

Clockwise are implementing motivating music across their workspaces up and down the country and they are blazing the trail in the workplace industry, setting the standard for how offices should be run. We hope to see more businesses in the industry follow their practises to promote individual and team wellbeing.”

Founded in 2017, Clockwise provides contemporary private offices, shared workspace and meeting rooms with flexible membership plans in key business locations across the UK and Europe. They have 13 sites across the UK and recently launched their newest site in Bromley, which is their first mixed-use site alongside a restaurant and hotel offering. Their most recent site in Europe also opened in Brussels which aids their expansion plans as they hope to grow to over half a million square feet of office space in total by next year.

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