2021 Volume 3 Issue 1
Objectives: We investigated whether playing background music (BGM) in the workplace had any effects on overtime hours. Methods: In 15 workplaces, we used a crossover design and alternated between 2 months with and without BGM for 8 months. Using the attendance management records of the company, we documented overtime hours during the observation and the previous year. BGM was played at the end of working hours (A), from 15:00 to the end of work (B), and from beginning to the end (C) in each of the five arbitrarily selected offices. To evaluate the effect on overtime hours, we used a paired t-test to compare the mean overtime between periods with and without BGM and repeated analysis of variance to compare the changes in the trend of overtime in the same months between the observation year and the previous year by an interaction effect. Results: Patterns A, B, and C consisted of 625, 536, and 573 employees, respectively. The mean overtime hours for 4 months were significantly decreased in one (−4.3%), two (−19.2% and −10.7%), and three (−11.8%, −16.8%, and −4.4%) offices, respectively. Furthermore, the trend of overtime between the observation year and the previous year significantly changed in one (1/5), one (1/5), and three (3/5) offices, in patterns A, B, and C, respectively. Conclusions: There were offices that showed less overtime when playing BGM, particularly the entire day, than when BGM was not played. This pilot study suggests that conducting more extensive research in this area is worthwhile.