Publisher Profile

Improving your work environment

By: |

I honestly feel that your productivity can improve with a more positive work environment. Studies have shown certain classical music creates the “Mozart Effect” that can improve memory, awareness, and the integration of learning styles, which can help creativity. This all sounds good, but let’s be honest, I kept a turntable in my office because I enjoyed listening to records. I am sure this increased my productivity, although I doubt it made me more creative. But it motivated me to stay at work longer because I enjoyed the environment, which included having a high-end stereo, albeit entry level. I would sometimes go to my office on weekends, not to work, but to fool around with my work stereo, such as maybe trying a different amplifier or switching tubes. There were times when I wanted to be as far away from work as possible; with an office stereo, I could crank it up, close my eyes, and be transported to someplace else. Fortunately, I had very tolerant co-workers; I was never told, not even once, to turn it down. I did normally listen at moderate levels.

The pandemic has changed the way a number of employees go to work. No longer do they have to take a shower, get nicely dressed and drive to an office. Many people now just roll out of bed and go to a different room while still in their pajamas. The big disadvantage to me is now there is no separation between work and home.

We spend so much time working, why not improve the work environment? Listening to streamed music through a pair of computer speakers or built-in ceiling speakers is not my cup of tea. There is an abundance of reasonably priced products out there that do not take a lot of space and can enhance the experience. We spend so much time working, making the work environment more pleasant may improve your outlook on work. I wrote this article to give you my approach and also offer reasons why this also may make working from home more enjoyable.

I originally based my office stereo around a pair of Magnepan speakers. I eventually moved to a smaller office, so I purchased a pair of inexpensive Acoustic Energy bookshelf speakers. This would be a more practical approach for most. I am not a fan of bookshelf speakers, although these sat on a shelf right above me, which I did enjoy listening to for hours at a time. Because you would now be listening relatively close to the speakers, I recommend that you stay away from more detailed-sounding speakers to avoid listener fatigue. My Acoustic Energy speakers had rolled off highs, which made listening for hours a pleasant experience. There are a number of quality bookshelf speakers out there for under $300 and they sound decent even when put on a shelf.

A turntable in your home office can enhance your listening experience as long as you don’t mind flipping records every 20 minutes. This can give you a chance to stretch your legs, although it may ruin your train of thought. I used an inexpensive Goldring turntable (Rega Planar 2 clone), which came with a Goldring Electra phono cartridge. Despite the low cost, I really enjoyed playing records while working. There are a number of turntables out there for under $500. Just stay away from the really cheap, poorly made brands that can ruin your records from a single play. I am sure you have heard of some of the more infamous brands that offer turntables built in a suitcase. My publisher probably won’t let me mention any names like Crosley.

You need a phono stage if you use a turntable. This is not a problem as there are many affordable quality phono stages out there, including the iFi ZEN that I reviewed last year. Some integrated amplifiers include a phono stage, such as the new Parasound integrated amplifier that I hope to review in the upcoming months when they become available.

The one area that I would change would be my electronics. I used a number of combinations at work, including both tubes and solid state. I also listened to CDs with my Sony ES compact disc player. Listening habits have changed. Many newer integrated amplifiers allow you to hook up your computer and stream music using their built-in DAC (digital to analog converter). There are a number of quality modern integrated amplifiers out there that can simplify your home office stereo, such as the Wyred4Sound integrated amplifier I reviewed a couple of years ago.

I used inexpensive Monster speaker cable because it was easier to run the cable in back of my desk and cabinets. It was also very easy to connect to both the speakers and amplifiers. I tried some cheap interconnects, which gave me problems with noise, so I switched to Monster interconnects, which did the job. This is supposed to be a work area so you need to be practical.

One way to start the process of building a home office stereo system is to use some of your existing components. I did this and it gave me an excuse to upgrade components for the main stereo. I ended up shuttling components between home and office. It may not have been the most efficient use of time, but I enjoyed doing it. Working from home makes this a lot easier.

I am sure my stereo improved my productivity at work; however, a more important factor was it significantly reduced stress, especially when preparing for an IRS audit or preparing for a major year-end meeting with a big client. Most careers involve some sort of stress, which is why I recommend putting a quality high-end stereo in your home office. It may make working a little less stressful and a little more enjoyable.



Copy editor: Dan Rubin


  • (Page 1 of 1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Popups Powered By :