Whistle while you work?
Apparently Sneezy, Dopey and the whole Seven Dwarfs crew knew what they were singing about, according to a new study about music in the workplace.
Who knew music hath charms to soothe the average dwarf? Heigh-ho!
Mindlab International, a UK (that's United Kingdom, incidentally, not the University of Kentucky) research firm, suggests that 88 percent of workers produce their most accurate efforts when listening to music.
The study even suggests that different types of music not only can soothe the savage breast (no, not beast) but can make us work better and/or faster.
For example, you want better accuracy? Listen to classical music. You want quicker data entry? Pop is your genre of choice.
And apparently dance music not only helps hasten proofreading efforts by 20 percent but the study says tapping your toes to dance music can increase your spellcheck passing rate by seven percent (68 to 75). So keep those feet moving and your eyes on the copy.
Music is known to enhance concentration and focus. But wait, there's more.
Overall, the study claims that employees who listen to music perform 90 percent better than those who do not.
Really? So the guy at the next desk listening to some head-banging stuff is outperforming me in my silent world, punctuated only by police scanner traffic and conversations about "chow" and a lack of juice and brownies at the local prison.
Actually, researchers claim, a silent office is more likely to be unproductive. Obviously they've never been to a newspaper newsroom.
But beware turning on just any old music. Some peeople tend to listen to the "wrong music," the study also notes. Lyrics are the key there.
Anytime a worker has an emotional attachment to the lyrics, the music can apparently become a distraction.
Uh-oh, there goes "Lyin' Eyes" by The Eagles.
But then, how about indiscernible lyrics like "Louie, Louie"?
The online service and mobile app Focus@will claims it can boost attention spans by up to 400 percent -- yikes, 400 percent! -- by helping "zone out" workers' distractions through use of something it calls "neuroscience-based music channels."
I think The Beatles called that "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds."
Now I don't mean to monkey around with their findings, but hey, I'm not a believer. More than a trace of doubt in my mind.
Unless, that is, you mean enhancing the speed and abilities of a race car driver.
Sleepy driving in that black hole of I-70 between State Road 39 and the Cloverdale exit?
Give me some bass and pump up the volume to "Vehicle" by the Ides of March or "Hurt So Good" by John Mellencamp.
Or as my favorite co-pilot suggests, "I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar will amp up your mph.
Perhaps "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen to keep from joining those dust biters.
Even "I Want You to Want Me" can be a cheap trick to get your juices and the gasoline flowing.
And "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys never fails to make me sit up straighter and drive a little faster. Makes me feel like I'm back in Dad's old white 1965 Oldsmobile, where I sat the first time I was feeling those excitations.
Good, good, good, good vibrations.
Not that's music to my ears.