Music for Your Office Complex (With Playlists)

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Traditionally, an office building contains one company. Different departments might be on different floors, and there may be coffee shops and other small businesses tucked in to serve employees, but the majority of the building is dedicated to one company, and it is filled with large workspaces filled with colleagues.

That model is becoming a rarity. As The Washington Post points out, shared offices and co-working spaces are turning the traditional office concept upside down. These sorts of businesses need small spaces tucked within large metropolitan areas, and they might appreciate renting just part of a floor rather than an entire building.

Enter the office complex concept. These buildings may house one very large company or be devoted to dozens of disparate companies that nestle together in close-set buildings.

How can you make a large office complex seem like a unified whole, even if you are dealing with several different companies? Through the use of the perfect office music playlist.

Where to Play Music in an Office Complex

Whether running a large or small office complex, you will need dedicated entries and exits — spaces employees will encounter as they come and go from work, and spaces customers will spend time in as they wait to interact with staff.

Music is the perfect lobby addition. According to the review site JLL, an office lobby should be an introduction to the brand that lives inside it, helping people to understand the business, the employees, and the company’s products.

Matching music to a brand is just one way to make that messaging crystal clear.

Plenty of other communal spaces could benefit from a touch of music. Hallways and elevators, for example, might shine a little brighter when music plays, especially if your office complex experiences traffic backlogs. Waiting for the elevator might be a little more pleasant, for example, if music is available to smooth the wait.

Bathrooms can also benefit from music. Playing the right tunes can provide a sense of privacy, which could make time spent in a bathroom a bit more comfortable.

What to Avoid With Music

In a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, researchers asked workers in open-office plans to name their top source of dissatisfaction. Many participants cited noise as a major annoyance.

Office noise can emanate from a variety of sources, such as these:

  • Printers and copiers
  • Phone calls
  • Hard shoes on hardwood floors
  • Coffee makers
  • Raucous meetings

For some workers, the music you play over loudspeakers could also be considered noise. While you might choose that music carefully, people who are trying to concentrate on a task or who simply do not enjoy the music you have selected may consider your music to be another distraction that keeps them from work.

Office workers avoid these distractions through headphones, but as Bloomberg points out, those can annoy managers. Employees tapped into their playlists are unavailable for conversation and collaboration with coworkers. They are locked inside their little worlds, listening to sounds no one else can hear. Office managers who want to promote constant communication and cooperation between employees may grow upset if the music they play has the opposite effect.

Choosing Your Music

Choosing music is personal, and the tunes one person loves can be a source of intense irritation to someone else. While you want the music you select to reflect your brand, you also want your key stakeholders to support your musical choices, so they won't be tempted to overrule your playlist or disable your speakers. A conversation with your stakeholders about song choices might be wise.

But even when you know what music to play, you can't start playing them immediately. Composers, musicians, and others hold the copyright, and your office is a public performance space. You could get fined each time a song plays.

Working with a company like Cloud Cover Music can simplify your legal or logistical challenges. Choose from playlists designed for offices, and customize them per your brand.

Know that each song you play is legally protected. And make changes with a dashboard easily, so you can dedicate your time to other tasks.


1. Classical

Song: Andante Cantabile, Op. Posth.

Artist(s): Budapest Strings

Song: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria

Artist(s): Johann Sebastian Bach, Glenn Gould

Song: Deux Arabesques L. 66: No. 1 Andante con moto

Artist(s): Claude Debussy, Zoltán Kocsis

Song: Fauré: Pavane in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 50 (Orchestral Version)

Artist(s): Gabriel Fauré, Sir David Willcocks, New Philharmonia Orchestra

Song: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 50 (Orchestral Version)

Artist(s): Ludwig van Beethoven, Igor Levit

Song: Après un rêve, Op. 7, No. 1

Artist(s): Gabriel Fauré, Yo-Yo Ma

Song: String Quartet No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Op. 12, MWV R 25: II. Canzonetta: Allegretto

Artist(s): Felix Mendelssohn, Kapralova Quartet

Song: Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90 “Italian”: III. Con moto moderato

Artist(s): Felix Mendelssohn, Leanord Bernstein, New York Philharmonic

Song: Karelia Suite, Op. 11: 3. Alla marcia. Moderato

Artist(s): Jean Sibelius, Philharmonia Orchestra, Vladimir Ashkenazy

Song: Bagatelle No. 25 in A Minor, “Für Elise”, WoO 59

Artist(s): Ludwig van Beethoven, Lang Lang

2. Pop/AC

Song: Alaska

Artist(s): Maggie Rogers

Song: Butterflies

Artist(s): Kacey Musgraves

Song: Green & Gold

Artist(s): Lianne La Havas

Song: You Make My Dreams

Artist(s): Daryl Hall & John Oates

Song: Ain’t A Thing (feat. Kaleem Taylor)

Artist(s): Oliver Nelson, Kaleem Taylor

Song: Birds

Artist(s): Coldplay

Song: Budapest

Artist(s): George Ezra

Song: Castle on the Hill

Artist(s): Ed Sheeran

Song: Come Alive (with Years & Years and Jess Glynne)

Artist(s): Years & Years, Jess Glynne

Song: Dancing In the Moonlight – Original Recording

Artist(s): King Harvest

3. Chillwave

Song: Two Thousand and Seventeen

Artist(s): Four Tet

Song: Belly Breathing

Artist(s): Birocratic

Song: Bubbly

Artist(s): Shibo

Song: CandleLit

Artist(s): DJ Harrison

Song: Degrees of Light

Artist(s): Taylor McFerrin

Song: Cirrus

Artist(s): Bonobo

Song: Awake

Artist(s): Tycho

Song: For Marmish

Artist(s): Floating Points

Song: Be Encouraged

Artist(s): Kiefer

Song: Window Drops

Artist(s): ITO

Find the Right Mix for Your Office Complex

Work with professionals with years of experience in the music business. Rely on the expertise of Cloud Cover Music in finding and sharing the right songs for your office complex. Control the sounds from one easy-to-use dashboard, and get started with no long-term contracts or extensive installations.

Contact us today, and we can tell you more.


Washington Office Buildings, Not Just Downtown Anymore. (May 2016). The Washington Post.

How the Office Lobby Speaks Volumes. (August 2017). JLL.

Workplace Satisfaction: The Privacy-Communication Tradeoff in Open-Plan Offices. (December 2013). Journal of Environmental Psychology.

How Music at the Office Affects Your Work Life. (November 2012). Bloomberg.

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