Many of us began working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave way to many companies implementing permanent remote work policies.
While the lack of morning preparation, a commute, and facetime with co-workers who have coffee breath can give you more undistracted work time, staying inside can also make you a little stir crazy. With so many distractions on our phones and in our houses, and no in-person management, it’s easy to get off track with our work responsibilities.
One of the best ways to stay focused and block out the world at large is to listen to music. It can keep you on task and motivated, plus sharing music is a great way to start a conversation and keep in touch with others. So, as we continue forward into the post-pandemic remote work world, we put together this list of our favorite Spotify playlists to keep you on track whether you work alone, in an office, or in a hybrid environment.
LMP’s Music Mondays
Making a playlist as a group or department can give your business a much-needed sense of community. Bond over shared tastes and new music discoveries — or learn who in the office has a terrible taste in music and remember not to invite them to your wedding.
Here at Lighting Media Partners, we have our own Music Mondays. Every week we choose a theme and our team puts songs into collaborative playlists. So far, we’ve done ‘90s songs, songs that make you happy, instrumental songs, and beach vibes. Some themes that I have not pitched yet and will get rejected* include whatever happened to these artists, songs you’d play for an alien, and songs the Green M&M would listen to.
Started in early 2020 as a way to engage with each other during the pandemic, LMP’s collaborative Music Monday playlist has positively benefited the team’s culture beyond expectation. As a fully-remote team in several states across the U.S., our team’s diverse music tastes help us connect and learn more about each other. Our team suggests some pretty creative prompts and creates a collaborative Spotify playlist for the week.
“I’ve squealed out of joy and excitement multiple times when a song comes on that I love and didn’t add myself,” said Katarina, LMP’s SEO writer. “I always look to see who added it and then message them on Slack to thank them for making my week brighter. It’s such a small thing, adding a song to a playlist, but really sets the tone for my week. Music Mondays are just one of the many amazing parts of working for LMP.”
How do collaborative playlists work on Spotify?
Wondering how collaborative playlists work on Spotify? For both free and premium Spotify users, collaborative playlists remain a great way to create the ultimate playlist for getting work done, exercising, focusing or just hanging out. Once a playlist has been created, the creator chooses to “make playlist collaborative” and shares the playlist link with friends. From there, anyone with the link can add new songs and curate the list.
On Spotify’s mobile and tablet app, users looking to create a collaborative playlist first need to create and name a playlist, tap the icon at the top with a person and a plus sign, and confirm they’d like to make the playlist collaborative. On the desktop Spotify app, users should create a playlist (or navigate to an existing playlist they’ve created), right click on the playlist and select “collaborative playlist,” and then share the link with friends.
It’s important to note only the owner of a playlist can make it collaborative.
Work from home music
From sunup to sun down, here are five playlists perfect for employees looking for work from home music.
Waking Up: Pop Music of the 2010s
Getting out of bed and finding strength to start the day can be hard when you work from home. To combat this, throw on the earworm pop music of the last decade. These hits will put you in a lively mood and instantly brighten your day. It’s impossible to feel defeated listening to “Your Love is My Drug.” Brush your teeth to “Replay” and wonder what happened to Iyaz!
Meeting Motivation: ‘80s Montage Music
Presenting over a video conference can be awkward and intimidating. You don’t know where to look, people talk over each other, and you’re unsure if anyone is listening. It’s a choir to attend a meeting too. Squash your fears and get out of your head by preparing for your meeting as if you’re in an 80s training montage. With songs from Rocky, The Karate Kid, and Top Gun, this playlist will get your blood flowing and pump you up. One listen to “Danger Zone” and you’re good to present the hell out of those quarter one findings.
Lock In and Focus: Jazz Vibes
Look, it’s easy for time to get away from you when you’re working from home. It has happened to me multiple times while writing this article. To lock back into your work groove, turn on Jazz Vibes. These instrumental hip-hop beats seamlessly flow together, making you lose your sense of time and melt away your distractions.
Wind Down: Acoustic Covers
At the end of a trying work day, unplug by listening to new versions of familiar songs. Artists like Dua Lipa, Imagine Dragons, and Ed Sheeran, along with some undiscovered talent, bring new styles to some jukebox favorites. Get sentimental with Obadian Parker’s “Hey Ya” or soulful with James TW’s “U Remind Me.”
Solo Happy Hour: This is Parliament-Funkadelic
Working from home doesn’t need to kill your social life. But how can you transition from work to leisure when you’re doing it all in the same space? Get a little funky. Make yourself a cocktail, start a video chat with your friends, and ease the weight off your shoulders. Keep it on as you make dinner and unwind into the rest of your night.
Best work Spotify playlists for the office
Stuck in your office? These four playlists will render your office blues obsolete and make you forget that you’ve been counting down the clock to 5 p.m.
Especially for warm spring days or sunny Friday mornings, a positive vibes playlist can create a warm and open aura in the office or get you centered and ready for the day. A positive vibe playlist is helpful during the not-so-great days, too. Turn your frown upside down with pop classics, old favorites, and upbeat tunes that remind you of better times.
Stuck In Your Head Songs
We’ve all experienced the “earworm” phenomenon where, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get “that” song out of your head. Our playlist of catchy tunes includes hits like “Electric Love” and “Dynamite.” While creating a playlist with those songs may cure you, you also may infect your coworkers with the same song, dooming them to sing it from 9 to 5 for the next week.
Hey, misery loves company, right?
Especially in open office spaces, coworkers singing along to their favorite songs can be distracting (and videotaped for the holiday party). Creating a collaborative instrumental-only playlist can set a soundtrack of success as the backdrop for a day, focus attention on important work and make everyone in the office feel like the hero they are.
Oldies But Goodies
Whether you’re a fan of classic 70’s disco, 80’s pop, or the grunge tunes that dominated the 90’s, the classics are classics for a reason. The more you’re stuck in the monotony of day-to-day life at the office, the more you’ll need a playlist filled with tunes that remind you of your youth (or your parent’s youth). The classics have a nostalgic feel with melodies and lyrics you just can’t help mouthing the lyrics to. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if you break out your guitar solo during lunch or work on your breakdancing skills after hours. That’s just what the classics do to you.
Music isn’t for everyone at work. Some people like to zone out and work while listening to talk radio or podcasts. Spotify even has a Daily Podcast playlist that gives you recommendations based on your taste.
Our recommendations? To catch up on the news every morning check out NPR’s Up First. To learn something new you never thought about, listen to Underunderstood. For non-pretentious and trivial movie talk, subscribe to The Ringer’s The Rewatchables. And listen to The Rights to Ricky Sanchez, a basketball podcast that’s more entertaining when basketball isn’t going on.
Make your own!
Make your days brighter and work go by quicker with a little bit of music. Remember to share what you’re listening to with your team. Who knows, you may even implement Pitbull Fridays in the office when you all gather together again.
*Editor’s Note: Since this blog was originally written, we have used the previously-pitched Soundtrack to Your Life and Middle School Dance as Music Monday themes, so we do take your theme suggestions, Dan.