The importance of background noise when studying or working

There are a couple of different interpretations of ‘background noise’.

Some people may think of background noise as the humble hum of a fridge, or the distant sound of cars passing by.

Others recognise background noise as a podcast or music playing in headphones as they work or study.

In today’s article, we’ll be discussing the latter – noise and sounds that you consciously choose to have playing in the background.

I’ll discuss the benefits, my opinion and much more.

My opinion on background noise 

I stand by the fact that background noise is a must-have for any working day.

Ask any remote worker or office employee – the audible presence of your favourite artist or podcaster can make the working day pass by a whole lot quicker.

Of course, If you work in retail or culinary environments this is easier said than done. you might not be able to chuck your headphones on and digest a podcast while serving customers.

It depends on your preference. Give it a try and examine the benefits!

Why is background noise important for working and studying?

There are a number of reasons why background noise can encourage you to work more efficiently or study harder. Here are a few:

  • Good music can motivate and encourage you
  • Relevant podcasts can inspire and educate you
  • Eases boredom
  • More likely to stay focused and ignore external distractions
  • A great soundtrack can inspire creativity
  • Benefits your overall mood

Does background noise affect your concentration?

Unwanted background noise like traffic and shouting can really impact your concentration, depending on the situation.

Background noise that you choose to listen to (music, podcasts) can actually benefit your concentration levels when completing mundane tasks.

Listening to your favourite album or podcast can take the boredom sting out of studying and working by introducing an additional layer of stimulation.

If you are experiencing distractions from unwanted background noise, try putting your earphones in and tuning them out with music or podcasts. You could even try listening to whale sounds or the sounds of the sea – whatever helps you concentrate best!

Why do I focus better with background noise?

If we were all to work and study in complete silence, we would constantly be searching for reasons to be distracted. This is natural.

As human beings, we’re always on the lookout for mental and physical stimulation.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of mundane jobs and tasks out there that offer very little in the way of stimulation. If a job doesn’t challenge us, we will always look for something that does.

Adding background noise to your work or study routine can benefit your concentration by adding an extra layer of mental stimulation. It can encourage you, inspire you or simply ease the boredom you’re feeling.

Is it better to study in silence or with background noise?

It’s really a matter of preference. You will know if you study better with complete silence. 

You will also know whether blasting music at full volume works for you. It really depends on your taste.

The only way to know for sure is to give it a try. Try studying in silence. Measure your output compared to a study session with low levels of background noise (music, podcasts) and a session with higher levels of background noise.

Give it a go and let us know how you get on!

Final thoughts

I have long been an advocate of background noise when studying or working.

There are some great albums out there that have helped me revise for tough exams and finish lengthy coursework assignments.

Likewise, I have discovered some awesome new podcasts whilst working on spreadsheets and data entry tasks at work.

I am not one to enjoy working in silence – I never have.

What is your favourite album or podcast to listen to in the background?

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