Music is a passion of mine — an extremely large passion. I can’t get through a day without listening to my music, whether it’s listening at work while I’m catching up on emails, going through bills, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes or winding down on the weekend with a glass of bourbon in my hand.
I listen digitally with my Apple Music subscription and the old-fashioned way via vinyl records, of which I have a collection numbering over 600 (a big thank you to my mom and dad for instilling in me this love of vinyl).
I listen on my earbuds, my noise-canceling headphones, my turntable, my living room sound system and a couple of Bluetooth speakers positioned throughout my home.
What do I listen to? My musical tastes span many genres, from blues and soul to jazz and rock. Right now, as I’m writing this sentence, I’m listening to the Allman Brothers Band, one of my all-time favorites.
Do you wear headphones/ listen to music while working on your field(s)?
- 54% – Yes, I need my music.
- 36% – Maybe, it depends.
- 10% – No, it’s a distraction.
So, I’ll ask you: What are you listening to? More specifically, do you listen to music while working on your field(s)? Do you pop in your earbuds before jumping on the mower? Do you cue up a playlist before you start watering or spraying for weeds? In March, we asked you this very question via a Twitter poll @SFM_Magazine.
As you can see, the majority of our poll respondents answered that yes, they do listen to music on the job.
So, what about the logistics of it?
Let’s understand that in some situations, working while listening to music via headphones/earbuds can be a safety hazard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) holds employers responsible for compliance regarding the use of headphones on the job. OSHA gives employers ultimate discretion in permitting headphone or earphone use on the job in low-noise environments. It advises employers that earphones worn over earplugs is a violation.
An OSHA study found that earphones used with the volume turned up can jeopardize hearing and limit ability to hear important ambient sounds, such as warnings.
OSHA also recommends educating employees of the danger of listening to loud music, on or off the job.
With all that being said, listening to music while working can make the day more enjoyable and greatly improve your mood and attitude.
Keep in mind that in some settings, headphone/earphone use can seem unprofessional and, to some, it detracts from focus and concentration.
Some workplaces are not headphone-friendly. Some managers are opposed to their workers using headphones. This being the case, listening to music on the job depends on the environment, management and situation. But if you’re ensuring your employer is on board, getting permission, limiting your volume and being safe, why wouldn’t you want your favorite tunes with you when getting the job done?
Sometimes, working on athletic fields involves long hours by yourself, depending on where you work. The work can be tiring and some tasks can naturally become monotonous over time. Why not pipe in a little music? It can motivate you. It can put you in a “zone.”
Tune into your music and tune out the chaos. Music can drive work and productivity. Sometimes it makes all the difference between a routine, sluggish day and a highly productive, enjoyable one.
Maybe you like to listen to music before heading out on the field. Maybe your negative attitude needs to be changed into a positive one. Maybe you need a few minutes of calm — let your music set your mood. A few minutes of peaceful (relative to your tastes) music can set the tone for the day. Or, it can be a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the day, like during your lunch break.
Music is the soundtrack to our lives. If it helps you get through the day and be more productive (again, assuming there’s no issues with violating any rules where you work), then make yourself a playlist and get after it!
As the late, great Jerry Garcia sings in the Grateful Dead song t”If you get confused, just listen to the music play.”