The use of music as a productivity tool in factories has a long history. It may reach back to sea shanties that kept sailors hauling away together. It certainly came into fashion as women replaced male factory workers during WWII. Manufacturers worried that the ladies would get bored and their minds would wander. Upbeat music was expected to keep them focused and cheerful.
More than cheerful — happy!
In England, an entire radio show, “Music While You Work,” was developed to provide that productivity boost. This program was designed to be piped into factory workspaces. Research was conducted to figure out how to manipulate workers’ emotions through music. The new field of psychology went beyond just encouraging workers to stay awake and pay attention. The music on “Music While You Work” was designed to make workers feel happy, patriotic and loyal to their companies.
Research in the second half of the 20th century found that workers were in fact happier and more productive when they had background music. They were also less likely to call in sick, and they had fewer accidents. A study in 2016 concluded that music in manufacturing plants could increase the workers’ “Quality of Working Life” (QWL).
In 2013, Harley-Davidson quit playing music at their plants, citing safety concerns. Music, they felt, could be distracting. Workers might not be able to hear their team members, so communication could be affected.
Rexroth supports music
Automation can now save human workers from having to do tasks so boring that music is required to keep them awake. But many factories continue to play music on the floor. Rexroth drives have been used in places like the Ferenc Lizst Academy of Music, providing silent machinery that won’t interfere with the music. They certainly can operate in your facility in cooperation with music.
When you need support for your Rexroth electric industrial motion control, call us first. We can provide phone support, field support, factory repair and reman, and emergency replacement units. We have charter planes standing by for those situations when time is of the essence.