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  • Music in the office

    What do people do about music in the office. I am specifically talking about the back of the office nurse station area. Not the waiting room.
    We have had a few people complain that having music playing in a work area is unprofessional. The first time I thought it was ridiculous but now that it has been several independent complaints it got me thinking. Are these just curmudgeons? Is it too loud? Is the type of music inappropriate?
    We just have a radio playing local stations. I honestly tune it out and spend little time in the nurses area. I would likely not even notice if it were gone. The station that I like (classic rock) does not come in anyway. So it is just pop and county which I do not care for so much.

    What does everyone else do?

  • #2
    I think you have to be careful about what you allow, especially if some people find it distracting. One of the secretaries where I work plays Christmas music year 'round, which is, imho, tantamount to a hostile work environment. Someone at my husband's former office had Christian rock piped in, and it was not everyone's cup of tea. Maybe find a spotify channel that has less distracting ads and such?

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    • #3
      It’s a tough call. We had to put a stop to it in the ED a few years back. We had a few new grad attendings, who appointed themselves the on-shift DJs. Then the residents saw that, and figured they were also justified in setting up their own jam stations at work. Then the nurses saw that and started to play their own music. It was all really distracting, inconsiderate and unprofessional. Physicians were bringing in little speaker set ups.

      Of course the offenders are usually oblivious to other people sitting 9 inches away, and would usually respond, “Oh, so you don’t like music” to anyone who took issue with it.

      I think for the office setting, have a set up for satellite radio or something similar, set to a station that projects the vibe you are after, and isn’t too objectionable to the masses, is the way to go.

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      • #4
        I had an attending who would play coldplay non-stop in the reading room.

        Likely not pertinent to the discussion, but I wear headphones on days that I'm not in charge of taking calls for or group.

        It might be worth it to pay for spotify premium for the office. You could probably make a benign list of artists that won't be disruptive.

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        • #5
          A policy is to make consistent decisions.
          Back office music? From an employee relations viewpoint, a consensus is needed. That is not a majority vote. Default is no music, if “they” can reach a consensus, great. No music selection will please everyone, but compromises can be achieved. This is one that the work group need to decide. Sorry, for some “silence is golden”. Music can be irritating and distracting. Sometimes satisfaction of being “heard” is sufficient.

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          • #6
            As a hem/onc, many of my patients are tense and anxious when they come in for consult / follow up. A significant number do not hear half the words spoken because their mind chooses not to hear and register it. Some choose not to even bring a family member or friend to have an extra pair of ears. The last thing I want is for them to blame the music that distracted them from understanding their diagnosis and treatment.

            So it is total silence in the room and the hall. It also helps me since music distracts my critical thinking and composing and arranging words that I want to convey to the patient, so that it is clearly understood.

            The back office area of ours flows out to the corridor and nearby patient rooms so it will be heard in those rooms.
            Last edited by Kamban; 09-16-2020, 08:01 PM.

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            • #7
              I have yet to meet anyone that doesn’t enjoy Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. That seems like a safe play.

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              • #8
                I recently switched dentists. The old dentist was perpetually late and there was always Christian soft rock playing. I’m not sure which irritated me more. Much happier with the new practice—on time and no musical proselytizing!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jaqen Haghar MD View Post
                  “Oh, so you don’t like music” to anyone who took issue with it.
                  Reminds me of the folks who feel entitled to impose their dogs on others. "Oh, so you don't like dogs?" I love dogs, I just don't necessarily love your dog, particularly when he's doing something obnoxious.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
                    What do people do about music in the office. I am specifically talking about the back of the office nurse station area. Not the waiting room.
                    We have had a few people complain that having music playing in a work area is unprofessional. The first time I thought it was ridiculous but now that it has been several independent complaints it got me thinking. Are these just curmudgeons? Is it too loud? Is the type of music inappropriate?
                    We just have a radio playing local stations. I honestly tune it out and spend little time in the nurses area. I would likely not even notice if it were gone. The station that I like (classic rock) does not come in anyway. So it is just pop and county which I do not care for so much.

                    What does everyone else do?
                    Kind of tangential, but don't you get tired of classic rock? I'm an older millennial who listened to a ton of it growing up. It's great music, but at this point I've heard the same hits so many times that I've almost developed a distaste for it when I hear it on store radio and such. AM/FM radio selection is so crappy, it's often one of the least bad options but still...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ScubaV View Post

                      Kind of tangential, but don't you get tired of classic rock? I'm an older millennial who listened to a ton of it growing up. It's great music, but at this point I've heard the same hits so many times that I've almost developed a distaste for it when I hear it on store radio and such. AM/FM radio selection is so crappy, it's often one of the least bad options but still...
                      I probably would if I listened to it more but I rarely listen to music. As I mention I ignore it at the office. When I drive I listen to audiobooks unless my wife is with me and she picks pop junk. If the kids are with me I cannot even tell if the radio is on so it doesn't matter.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ScubaV View Post

                        Kind of tangential, but don't you get tired of classic rock? I'm an older millennial who listened to a ton of it growing up. It's great music, but at this point I've heard the same hits so many times that I've almost developed a distaste for it when I hear it on store radio and such. AM/FM radio selection is so crappy, it's often one of the least bad options but still...
                        It’s interesting how the term classic rock is a moving target. The term came about in the 1980s... Growing up, classic rock meant late 60s-1970s music... CCR, Journey, Kansas, Steve Miller.... I hate that stuff. The stuff from the 80s, then 90s was new, hip, and totally different.

                        Now, when I check into a hotel, the classic rock station is playing Madonna and Bon Jovi, and heavy metal bands.

                        I guess classic rock just means, whatever was playing 30-40 years ago, from today.
                        This just occurred to me like, last year.


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                        • #13
                          I think while most stations would be acceptable, the volume is more important. If it stays quiet, it's fine. If it sounds like an office party, too much.

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                          • #14
                            Lordosis Here is every MTV VMA performance from this year. It should get you caught up with the kids.
                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyZPhBKIKHY

                            I watched most of it. An aside- maybe the pandemic will bring back the music video as a way to get to know artists since concerts aren't happening.

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                            • #15
                              I listen/watch piano on youtube in between patients and surfing. But nothing for the office.

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