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30 Mar

The Great Headphone Escape: Building the Perfect Work Playlist


Ah the sweet, sweet relief of blocking out office chatter with a big ‘ol pair of headphones. Conference room shouting matches, the lunchtime microwave shuffle, and dude-who-talks-way-too-loudly-on-the-phone—all can be washed away by the sounds of your favorite tunes with a quick click. It’s probably as close to magic as you’ll get in an open office plan.

But beyond pressing play, there’s an art to crafting the perfect playlist. Consider: The jolt of energy you get from that third cup of coffee probably warrants something a little more chill than when you hit the 3 p.m. slump. How do you put together a collection of songs that hits all the right notes, regardless of personal taste? Well my friends, team BigWheel is here to help.

Build a Base

For the purpose of this exercise, we’re going to assume you’re familiar with Spotify. If not, what are you waiting for? It’s freaking awesome. The first step to building a successful work playlist is creating an eclectic base playlist. Call it what you want, but it should be the first spot you drop your favorite tracks.  Don’t put too much thought into it; just drag and drop your favorites. That way, you’ll have easy access to a catalogue of your top songs at all times.

Consider Your Role

Consider you’re a copywriter who cycles between researching technical website content and writing social media posts. Your research vibe may call for some ambient tracks, while crafting Insta captions is a solid time to pay homage to T-Swift (don’t judge). Regardless of your role, remember that your mood changes throughout the day … unless you’re a robot, which is cool (we love you Siri and Alexa). So try and incorporate a variety of genres and styles into your new playlist. Once you’ve pulled over plenty of tracks from your base, you’re ready for the next step.

Tell a Story (or Ordering Your Tracklist)

Yes, you can always just hit “shuffle.” But where’s the fun in that? Like any successful marketing campaign, a good playlist tells a story. Songs should easily transition from one to the next. Metallica mayyyy not be the best lead-in to Bach, but that doesn’t mean they can’t exist in the same playlist. Just pad each tune out with songs that make the transition a little less jolting. Think: Classical into Folk into Roots Rock into Metallic. See? That’s a little more organic than “Master of Puppets” into “Cannons.” Ideally, you should be able to pop on your headphones at 9 a.m. and have a varied collection of songs that follows you all the way to 5 p.m.


Unless you’re super embarrassed about your playlist (which is silly because all music that speaks to you is good), share it with your coworkers! It’s a fun way to spread the word about new music, discover old classics, and share another part of your personality. Eventually, you’ll have a bunch of playlists showcasing a bunch of different tastes.

Rock Out

We’re talking the talk. Check out a playlist crafted by everyone on team BigWheel. Enjoy!

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