Employee Wellness

Calm and Bklava (Ministry of Sound) Launch New Music to Improve Employee Productivity and Reduce Stress

Based on research, the new 3-part music series—featuring songwriter, vocalist, producer, and DJ, Bklava (Ministry of Sound)—is designed to help employees complete multiple tasks efficiently, boost creativity, and increase focus.

blurry background with text that reads blkava silk music for focus

The Calm Team

3 min read

Heavy workloads, taxing job responsibilities, and working long hours are the primary factors contributing to pervasive workforce stress, Deloitte research shows. Although the vast majority of employees want to improve their well-being this year, these work-related issues stand in the way. In fact, about half of employees say they’re feeling stressed (49%) or exhausted (52%) often or all the time. Constant distractions and interruptions at work, whether it’s technology messaging apps like Slack or kids at home, also make it challenging for employees to focus on the job.

Music can help, according to research. Studies show that listening to background music with specific beats and arrangements can help people focus and be more productive at work, alleviating stress.

“Silk: Music for Focus” in the Calm app targets common issues affecting employee productivity

In this context, Calm and songwriter, vocalist, producer, and DJ, Bklava (Ministry of Sound) have collaborated to produce “Silk: Music for Focus,” a three-part music series available in the Calm app.

Based on research and data, the tracks—Parallels, Motion, and Adrift—are designed to help employees increase focus, think more creatively, and complete multiple tasks efficiently, improving productivity and reducing stress. 

Help employees complete multiple tasks efficiently with “Parallels”

It’s common for workers to face pressure to complete multiple tasks in the same timeframe, leading many to try to multitask. For example, a worker might switch their attention from writing a report to responding to emails to scheduling meetings and back again, believing that they’re rapidly accomplishing all three tasks. But studies show that switching attention from one task to another actually slows us down and makes us less productive, especially if the switches happen rapidly.

As an alternative to rapid switching among tasks, the “Pomodoro technique” has been proven to help people focus and complete multiple tasks efficiently by alternating between focused work sessions and micro-breaks. The technique entails setting a timer for 25 minutes and taking action on a single task until the timer rings. You mark off one “pomodoro,” record what you completed, and take a five-minute break, staving off mental fatigue. After four pomodoros, you take a longer, more restorative 15- or 30-minute break.

“Parallels” is an approximately 45-minute music program that supports employees using the Pomodoro technique by alternating between 30-minute stretches of “focus” music based on binaural beats (a different frequency is introduced into each ear) and 15-minute interludes of “complex” music that takes over one’s attention to “cleanse the palette” between tasks. The track is designed to seamlessly loop, so employees can put it on repeat for as long as they want to work in this manner.  

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Boost employee creativity with “Motion”

Creativity requires two distinct types of thinking: generating new ideas and possibilities (“divergent thinking”) and determining which ideas can be successful/problem solving (“convergent thinking”). Research has shown that listening to music that elicits positive emotions (i.e., “happy music”) boosts creativity when performing a divergent creativity task.

The “Motion” track in the Calm app is a 60-minute piece that uses different music beats and frequencies to bring listeners through the different stages of the creative process, from task assessment, to divergent thinking, to convergent thinking.

Improving productivity with binaural beats

When people hear binaural beats–separate frequencies in each ear–the brain creates a third tone to try to bridge the gap, changing our brainwaves. A number of benefits result, including improved focus of attention, memory boosting, relaxation, and work productivity. Research shows that people complete work faster and with fewer errors when listening to binaural beats.  

Adrift” is a 75-minute music track centered on binaural beats to help employees improve work productivity.

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Add research-backed music to your toolbox for increasing focus and reducing workforce stress

With workforce stress skyrocketing, employers and employees are looking for new solutions that can provide relief in the moment rather than waiting until stress has escalated into more serious conditions. Research shows that specific beats, frequencies, and arrangements of music may alleviate employee stress by helping employees stay focused on tasks, move between tasks in an efficient and effective way, and tap into their creativity. See if it works for you. Listen to our new series here in the Calm app.

For more information on how Calm Business can help you improve employee mental health and well-being, contact a Calm specialist today

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