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September 16, 2021 by Sarah Glover

The Ultimate Office Playlist

Office workers’ favourite artists and songs to listen to while working

It is scientifically proven that listening to music can boost your mood, productivity, and focus, so it’s no surprise that office workers around the world are impartial to some tunes while they work. But deciding what artist, playlist, or genre to listen to in order to keep all of the team happy is probably one of the biggest office debates there is! After all, music taste can be quite personal.

The office design experts at Meridian Interiors have decided to go one step further than layout and decor this time and delve into acoustics too!

We have decided to settle the discussion once and for all, by revealing the ultimate office playlist to suit all ages and tastes at work. We’ve crawled and analysed Spotify for office playlists to find out which songs are most popular in an office environment, and can reveal the winning tracks and artists…


The most popular songs for work listening

HR teams can rejoice; no longer will colleagues be shouting “next” or fighting for the Sonos control, as this final list of songs are what tick the boxes with most teams around the UK, and it looks pretty encompassing for all genres and tastes.

From soothing Ed Sheeran melodies in Shape of You, through to Van Morrison’s easy listening Brown Eyed Girl, and on to TOTO’s classic Africa; these songs featured most across 100+ office-related playlists, so are the biggest hits for the workplace.

The most popular and office-pleasing song to have on in the office – according to the study – is Train’s Hey, Soul Sister.

RankSongArtistNo. of playlists
1Hey, Soul SisterTrain40
2Blinding LightsThe Weekend34
3Shape of YouEd Sheeran33
4Don’t Stop Believin’Journey32
5Take on Mea-ha32
6Treat You BetterShawn Mendes32
7I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)Whitney Houston32
8My GirlThe Temptations31
9Brown Eyed GirlVan Morrison31
10CirclesPost Malone31
11Thinking Out LoudEd Sheeran31
12Just The Way You AreBruno Mars30
13I’m YoursJason Mraz30
14RiptideVance Joy30
15Shut Up and DanceWALK THE MOON29
16Viva La VidaColdplay29
17Watermelon SugarHarry Styles28
18Hey Their DelilahPlain White T’s28
19Counting StarsOneRepublic28
20I Want You BackThe Jackson 526
22SeptemberEarth, Wind & Fire25
23Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae24
24Love SongSara Bareilles23
25Sunday MorningMaroon 521
26Don’t Go Breaking My HeartElton John, Kiki Dee21
27HappierMarshmello, Bastille18
28CrazyGnarls Barkley17
30DynamiteTaio Cruz15

The most popular artists to listen to in the office

An interesting concoction of genres can be found when we look at most popular artists. With a mix of modern pop with classic rock; our favourite artists to listen to at work really include something for everyone.

Taylor Swift topped the charts, with her tracks featuring in a whopping 276 playlists! She was closely followed by Ed Sheeran, The Beatles, John Mayer and Coldplay.

RankArtistNo. of playlists
1Taylor Swift276
2Ed Sheeran242
3The Beetles215
4John Mayer196
6Maroon 5176
7Fleetwood Mac162
8Shawn Mendes160
9Elton John158
10Imagine Dragons158
12Stevie Wonder144
13Billy Joel143
14Michael Jackson141
16Bruno Mars139
18Sam Smith127
20Katy Perry118
21Justin Bieber111
22Whitney Houston110
23Justin Timberlake108
25Bob Marley & The Wailers103
26The Rolling Stones96
30The Police91

How to choose the right music for your office

Our managing director, Paul Dawson comments on the findings: “It’s great to see such a mixture of songs in the ultimate office playlist. This has been a fun study to do, and one for our team to listen to when we are doing office re-fits too!

When considering speakers and music for your team, Paul also urges employers and business owners to consider acoustics in offices too: “Many modern offices are designed using an open plan layout and for good reason, as this type of space is ideal for building staff relationships, collaborating on projects and making all staff approachable. However, with the considerable size of some open plan offices, the noise within these spaces can reverberate across the workplace, creating a distracting environment to try to work in.”

“We often advise on carpet tiles, ceiling coverings or pads, and booth and partitioned areas for quieter spaces and to minimise echoing. But when music is concerned, business owners should also consider where to place speakers to not counteract this. We recommend several wall-fitted speakers to avoid noisier sections and to discreetly add background music without it being too much of a focus – or causing debates on what to play!” Paul adds.


We collated a list of over 40,000 songs from user-created Spotify playlists that had a reference to office in their titles. We searched for playlists that contained the word “office” and found over 100 such as ‘Your Office Stereo’, ‘Office/ Work Playlist’, and ‘Office Playlist 2021’.

By data-crunching the songs and artists from each of these playlists, we were able to find which were most heavily featured, to reveal the most listened to songs and artists in the workplace.