Making Space(s) for Culture: Sound

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The right music can makes people feel happier, more alert, focused and productive, which is why Spaces has designed Spotify playlists for coworking

It’s no secret that music affects people’s mood. In fact, research from Nature Neuroscience found that listeners’ dopamine levels increased by as much as 9% when they heard music they enjoyed. Dopamine – the feelgood hormone – makes us less stressed, more focused and more motivated, so having a workspace soundtrack can help people be more productive.

Recognising the potential for boosting the wellbeing of professionals, Spaces Westerpark in Amsterdam has introduced bespoke Spotify playlists. All people have to do is use their smartphones to tap signs with integrated NFC tags – like contactless payments, the Spotify playlists open automatically, and have been designed to create a specific mood.

“This experience is about discovery in the physical space and supporting members in various ways with music they can use throughout their day,” says Boris Boom, music consultant at Kollekt FM, which is also the creative force behind the ‘human curated’ background music playing at Spaces locations.

Just like the rest of the facilities at Spaces Amsterdam Westerpark, these curated playlists are geared up for hybrid working – where employees have the freedom to work from home, a local flexspace or company HQ – in that they are hosted on Spotify so people can listen to them from wherever they happen to be based.

“This is an extension of the regular Spaces background music experience – it caters more towards individual needs and will be played on people’s headphones,” says Boom. “Members can use their personal Spotify accounts, rather than listen to music played over the communal speaker system. So they can now enjoy Spaces music wherever they are – even at home or on the go.”

Amsterdam-based composer Tymon Bijlhout – part of the team at Kollekt FM – is the dedicated music curator at Spaces Amsterdam Westerpark. Each month, he handpicks new songs, to keep things fresh and to create a fun atmosphere for members – whether they are focusing on deep work, taking a break or seeking a burst of energy.

Spaces Westerpark members will have seven playlists to discover around the coworking space – even in the bathrooms, where the ‘Royal Flush’ playlist is a tribute to the kings and queens of pop, disco and funk (think Prince, Madonna and Chaka Khan). The playlists are have been curated to compliment the purpose of different areas and the design of the venue – for example, the “focus” mix is accessed in the quiet zone. Ultimately, the playlists are about giving members the chance to personalise their experience of the workspace and enjoy an added sense of wellbeing.

“Music and how it is perceived is very, very personal,” says Boom. “For the Spaces Westerpark ‘t Pumped’ playlist, we looked specifically for high-energy, feel-good songs that many Spaces members are likely to know, and have positive associations with.” Starting with the empowering vibes of Jamie xx, the playlist gradually builds in energy (so it’s best not to shuffle this one). For the finale, listeners can expect anthems such as Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and Basement Jaxx’s Red Alert.

“Back in the day, we thought the office coffee machine was the place to grab our cup of ambition but, as we all know, the workplace has evolved over the years,” says Boom. “A workplace should offer an environment that makes people thrive. By paying attention to all senses, we believe we can give a well-rounded experience where people know that they’ll work at their best.”

Want to work somewhere more in tune with your wellbeing? Find a Spaces location near you

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