What Do You Listen To At Work?

Photo: Harry How/Getty
Photo: Harry How/Getty

I’ve been listening to a lot of KC and the Sunshine Band lately. Probably too much, by most definitions, but these extended cuts of ’70s songs on YouTube have been awesome for my productivity.

This is the perfect work song. It’s got pep and energy, and you’re not gonna fall asleep to it. But it’s also hypnotic, giving a seemingly endless loop of the same beat, so it doesn’t take up too much headspace. These old disco tracks get you into a groove, and they make you feel good, but they’ll never abruptly startle you out of any deep, important thoughts. You should listen to disco at work, is what I’m saying.


For others on the Deadspin staff, like Nick Martin, it’s long instrumental-heavy jams from the Allman Brothers and Skynyrd that do the job (he listens to “Free Bird” a lot). Lindsey Adler plays the same tracks over and over again until they become white noise (she claims she once listened to “Obvious Child” by Paul Simon for six weeks straight).

Redford is similar, except his only album is The Avalanches’ Since I Left You. Ley’s mind is apparently an audio garbage disposal, because he can absorb and retain the worst podcasts in the world while editing blogs. (He does this for reporting purposes, not pleasure, but also, I sometimes hear him blasting Kesha through his headphones). Diana and Emma are both into classical music. Albert, too, can only listen to classical and “wordless ambient shit.” Burke has Daft Punk and Deadmau5 Spotify stations that he plays once sports are over for the day. David Roth endorses listening to Mogwai all the time. Drew, surprisingly, writes in silence. Laura Wagner says she blogs best to “the quiet taps of typing and occasional giggles.”

So, what do you listen to when you’re at work? As you can tell, we’ve mainly been talking about the kind of job where you stare at a computer all day. But we’re wondering what works for everyone. Especially if you’re a surgeon—we’re really curious about that, actually. Tell us in the comments.