SPARE a thought for the retails workers who have had a loop of Christmas songs inflicted on them since the first throes of autumn but it turns out there are actually benefits to turning up the tunes at work.

A campaign – aptly titled Music At Work – is aiming to increase awareness regarding the health effects of music while encouraging employers to let the music flow in workplaces, so workers’ time on the job is less of a drudge.

“When music is used properly, it boosts productivity, decreases stress and makes workplaces altogether more enjoyable,” Dr Julia Jones explains.

Also known as Dr Rock, she has been prescribing music for personal and business health for over 20 years and has been nominated in the 2019 Great British Entrepreneur Award for her work.

Dr Jones has highlighted the power of music in aiding physical and mental health, including for those living with dementia, so now she wants employers to look at how music can be introduced to suit their businesses.

But she does have sympathy for those for department store employees who have to listen the same tired festive hits day in, day out, seemingly earlier and earlier every year, and reckons it is time for a change in tactic to boost spirits.

“I think this is an opportunity for the music industry to come up with new music for this time of year so that retail staff don’t have to be exposed to the same set of songs, year in, year out, probably dictated by head office,” she says.

“Maybe some soundscapes, or ambient sounds could create a new, more relaxed and pleasing atmosphere alongside the well-known tunes.”

Firmly believing that music can be effectively introduced widely, she has already spoken with bosses in a range of industries including a toothpaste factory, a nuclear power station, at a railway station, a lighthouse and libraries.

“In a library, what is to stop staff wearing headphones so these will still be peaceful places?” says Dr Jones, who started in the early 90s researching how the chemicals in the brain respond to music either through singing, dancing, playing an instrument or simply sitting back and listening.

“Music for work is all about encouraging employers to join the workplace transformation revolution by embracing the scientific research and championing music,” she explains

“It is a key component in human life with a clear link between what we hear and our mental and physical health. It can help stimulate productivity and ease stress in an increasingly complex world of working patterns and environments.”

Dr Jones has worked with Olympic teams using music to help athletes concentrate, control anxiety, and maintain motivation for training.

“People need to know that consuming a little music each day, at home or at work can improve their life – and this isn’t a fantasy, it’s fact,” she says. 

“Thanks to scientific research we know music triggers important feel good brain chemicals. Humans love music and should listen to more of it. We should all sing, dance and socialise more to help keep the brain healthy.”

She is calling on captains of industry and businesses around the world to back the drive and tackle issues that cost the economy billions of pounds each year.

More than 15 million working days are lost in the UK each year due to health problems, mainly brought on by workloads that can now extend way beyond the traditional 9 to 5 working day.

Countless numbers of employees are feeling overwhelmed, overloaded and under constant pressure to keep up with mounting workloads.

Dr Jones’ book, The Music Diet, which was published earlier this year, hit a right note for singer Louise Redknapp, who has starred in the musical 9 to 5.

“Music has such power to heal and improve our wellbeing, both physical and mental. Modern working patterns are far from 9 to 5 and most people are constantly on the go,” she says. 

“It’s a great idea to allow employees to listen to music in the workplace. Ultimately, it will benefit both the workers and their bosses.”