Saturday, December 6, 2008

Music @ Work!


Here’s what you may be thinking today? Hurray! Thank God it’s Friday Evening! How about some music to set the weekend rolling? So you choose your best song and play it on your headphones. Off course, it’s a Friday evening and you think its ok. You’re enjoying your song playlist while completing your Friday report/wrapping that code on a module/finishing that employee relation policy document (yes! HR does work! Don’t know why it’s so hard to believe!). The song is giving a soothing effect; a positive one. This is the period of the day you love the most! Work gets done in the best way you could have ever done it and you head home…Monday is still more than 48 hours away…

Come Monday morning, a mail in your Inbox almost knocks you out! Someone (from another team) has objected to you listening to music while working and they find it disturbing their work! So that person thought the best solution would be to mail your manager, copy the HR and the rest of the world (I know! It does happen…) explaining how you are the cause of their bad productivity! Really! How the hell could that happen? You were sitting in your cubicle listening to songs on your headphones! How could that affect another person’s productivity? Maybe, the person used you as an alibi…But for what? So now in you stand in the court of your hiring-manager, who by the way, has summoned the HR, a couple of other managers (no clue why they got invited) and the Employee Relations Manager into a conference room…WOW! Your music has really got them interested! What follows is a session on work ethics, responsibility towards creating and being a part of a conducive work environment…etc., etc., etc.,…You walk out completely flabbergasted!

Yes, believe it! This is a real-life situation…

I guess it time to knock on the HR Policy maker’s door for some inputs…Unfortunately, there’s no such “Music” policy in existence! Who would have thought that listening to music would cause such a stir! Do you even need a HR policy? Maybe not! For HR Managers in such companies please don’t rush to ban all equipment that plays music (mp3, iPod’s and a host of others)! Take it one step at a time. Ask yourself ONE question:

Is the person listening to music @ work not responding to official responsibilities on time?

It could be mails, meetings, phone calls, etc., If the answer is YES! Then you have a case on your hands…If not, please spend some time explaining that listening to music is good except at work. You have a work culture that doesn’t encourage this habit (explain with reasons). No exceptions!

Why listening to music should be disallowed at work?

- Could be that the songs got downloaded from an “Insecure” website and poses a potential threat to your network
- Songs get swapped at work and could end up getting traced by the record industry, for piracy! Not at all good..
- Downloading songs from various sites will hit your company’s internet bandwidth - thus depriving folks of time to complete official work
- The lenient approach taken by the management got really abused in the past and so you don’t a repeat of that problem.

Why listening to music should be allowed?

- However, you really don’t need a survey to tell you that listening to music (responsibly though) acts as a good tool to market your work culture to potential hires.
- Music elevates the mood, injecting fresh enthusiasm and also relaxes the mind - a perfect setting to contribute to the team’s productivity. Right?
- Does the work get done? If yes, just leave the listeners alone…maybe that will help them achieve more…

By the way…there is already so such background noises around you…printers, fax machines, cell phones, pagers, the coolers…phew! I guess, it’s better to let the listeners stay plugged to their fave song!

- The HR Store