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Music Works: How Open Ear help The Office Group

In 2014 The Office Group approached Open Ear, asking us to establish a brand soundtrack in their flexible ‘Club Rooms’ work spaces. The Club Rooms are a communal working environment catering to independent start-ups and small businesses with high growth potential. Prior to working with Open Ear, the Club Rooms were very quiet spaces, providing no privacy for members' conversations. This lead to phone calls taking place in corridors, reception areas and other inappropriate spaces.

Open Ear conducted a three month consultation with members and the Office Group team, establishing from members if (or how) they would like music to be introduced. The overwhelming response in favour of music gave the Office Group impetus to begin working with Open Ear on an ongoing basis.

Open Ear created a soundtrack for the Office Group, factoring the responses from the clients, the Office Group brand and visual design and, crucially, the function of each space as an environment for working. The soundtrack caters to most tastes, contains a mix of instrumental (non-intrusive so as not to distract) and more familiar songs (recognisable to promote comfort), and focuses on sounds which have warmth, smoothness and are unlikely to jar or interrupt one's train of thought. The playlists adjust according to the time of day and each day is segmented so that the flow of music creates the appropriate energy at all times.

A survey by research body Mindlab in 2014 showed that 88% of people were at their most accurate - and 81% at their fastest - when music was playing.

Recently, Open Ear have introduced several seasonal/guest-curated playlists. ‘Motown Mondays’ give members a feel-good kickstart to the week, while ‘Funk and Soul Fridays’ creates an appropriate pre-weekend atmosphere. HoxtonFM provided this month's guest-curated playlist, creating a playlist of modern electronica and soul designed for mornings in The Office Group's spaces.

Next month, Open Ear's Oscar Arroyo will be curating a lunchtime playlist designed around the idea of workplace fitness. As Open Ear’s resident fitness expert, Oscar knows how important music can be during exercise. The Office Group wanted to encourage their members to exercise during lunch so from November Oscars playlist, which contains a mix of nu-disco, house and electro, will play during these periods. Listen to it here, and click on the image below to read the conversation Open Ear's Brian D'Souza had with James Palmer about the psychology of music in the workplace.

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