Should Employees Listen to Podcasts at Work?

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Listening to podcasts while working is not recommended because it engages your brain, thus losing total concentration on the task at hand. Though it may stimulate your brain, it forces you to multitask, causing distraction. Depending on the work you are doing, errors and mishaps become unavoidable.

Even though podcast listening at work has its benefits, the drawbacks tend to have more adverse effects on the success of businesses. This is a similar situation to when we covered if listening to podcasts while sleeping was a good idea.

This blog post will explore both sides of the argument and provide you with enough information to make an informed decision.

The Benefits of Listening to Podcasts at Work

Many benefits come with employees listening to podcasts at work, including:

Increased Knowledge and Creativity

Listening to podcasts can be a great way to stay informed about current events and learn new things within your industry. Podcasts can assist employees in upskilling or reskilling relevant expertise required for their roles. 

Listening to podcasts allows employees to grasp a lot of information quickly. It can also help employees better understand the ongoing advancements related to their roles to be more productive and efficient.

Besides, employees can gain new perspectives on handling challenges, improving their problem-solving abilities, and innovation in their work.

Enhanced Motivation and Morale

Workers in office

Podcasts that deliver success stories can enhance motivation and inspire employees. Podcasts related to your industry can especially assist employees in building a solid connection to their work, improving morale, and making the work more enjoyable. 

Moreover, podcasts can promote team bonding and collaboration. Developing a podcast culture that focuses on work progress can prompt employees to share related podcasts, thus creating a sense of camaraderie.

Sometimes, employees need a break from the usual grind. Listening to a podcast can help them relax and recharge so that they return to working feeling refreshed and energized from the insights learned.

The Drawbacks of Listening to Podcasts at Work

There are a few potential drawbacks to consider when listening to podcasts at work. They include:

Causes Distractions

When you listen to a podcast while working, one action suffers because it is difficult for the brain to multitask effectively. You will either direct your focus on the podcast or the task.

For instance, if a podcast is interesting, it will demand more attention, disrupting the pending task’s focus. Alternatively, if you direct your focus on the task at hand, the podcast becomes destructive and will sound like background noise. 

Although some people find listening to podcasts at work stimulating and can increase output, it is a significant distraction and not advised, especially in roles where concentration is critical. It can be the basis of accidents.

Reduces Productivity

Podcasts captivate and engross the listener, so they can lure employees into sidelining their work, causing delays and poor time management. 

Even if you are comfortable handling multiple tasks at work, listening to podcasts hinders your operations and slows your work. As a result, it negatively impacts your performance.

Obstructs Teamwork

If you allow employees to have their headphones on, employees will be unapproachable, promoting isolation instead of teamwork. When an employee needs the attention of another colleague, whether work-related or not, they may feel like they are interrupting the other and opt to avoid them. 

It may reduce the social connection in the workplace and heighten individualism. If an employee wants to listen to a podcast, it is advisable to wear one earphone to look approachable when other colleagues need attention. 

How to Ensure Productive Podcast Listening at Work

The following are guidelines to help you incorporate productive podcast listening at work.

Outline the Goal for Podcast Listening

There should be well-defined goals and objectives affiliated with the overall company mission for introducing podcast listening at work. These guidelines will help implement and run the new podcast listening venture. 

Specify the Type of Podcasts Allowed

Permit listening to work-related podcasts and those that encourage behaviors aligned to your core values. Since podcasts present information that is easy to recall, then work-related podcasts can create a more vital link between employees and the company.

Define the Listening Times

Employees should not be allowed to listen to podcasts at any time during working hours. Some employees may take advantage and listen to their personal favorites, which does not benefit the company but causes wastage of valuable company resources.

The company should plan specific timelines that will ensure no distraction, reduction in productivity, or obstruction to teamwork.

Plan on the Mode of Delivery

How employees listen to podcasts is essential to reap the benefits from the undertaking. Here, the company may consider individual or group listening or both depending on the company operations and goal of this venture. 

Final Comments

The benefits of listening to podcasts at work cannot be understated, nor can its drawbacks be ignored; it is a controversial topic. Comprehensive research and plans need to be in place for companies to profit from employees listening to podcasts. It would require additional resources to achieve this and, therefore, depends squarely on the company’s standing and mission. 

Otherwise, companies should not authorize listening to podcasts at work.