Listening to music at work can improve productivity by 15%. A study of 2,000 workers found half listen to music at their desk, with some bosses encouraging it while others are actively against it. Researchers gave 4 office workers two tasks transcribing 600 words of music lyrics — one in silence and one with classical music playing in the background. The first task, in silence, was completed in an average time of 20 minutes and 59 seconds. But when it came to the second task, with music on, they completed it in an average time of just 17 minutes and 42 seconds: a staggering 3 minutes and 17 seconds (or 15%) reduction in time.

Almost half (47%) of those polled claim they feel less stressed with background melodies playing and more than a third said their productivity notably improves. But while more than a quarter of workers use music to block out their colleagues’ noise, a tenth do so just to avoid silence.