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Musical space design laboratory

In this joint study, participants were asked to complete a feedback questionnaire to assess their temporary mood scale, office image, willingness to continue working, and work engagement.

USEN CORPORATION (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; Chairman and Representative Director: Kimimasa Tamura; USEN), member of USEN-NEXT HOLDINGS Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; Chairman, Representative Director and CEO: Yasuhide Uno), transcosmos inc., and OTSUMA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY (Main Campus: Tokyo, Japan; President: Masanao Itoh) conducted a joint study (the Study) to examine the effect of background music (BGM) on call center agents.

The study was conducted to see if there is a relationship between BGM types and stress levels of call center agents etc. In the study, participants were divided into three groups, with each group being on a different floor. Different types of BGMs were played in the office, refreshment room, and collider on each floor.

Details of the study will be made available to the public on the USEN Music Space Design Lab website (

[Study Overview]
The effect of background music (BGM) on call center agents

Observation period (1) Monday January 18, 2021 – Sunday February 7, 2021

Observation period (2) Monday, February 8, 2021 – Sunday, March 7, 2021

Observation period (3) Monday, March 8, 2021 – Sunday, April 4, 2021

Call center agents working in transcosmos call centers (Observation period (1) 94 (2) 88 (3) 88)

Group A: Office ⇒ Healing BGM, Refresh room/Corridor ⇒ Stimulating BGM

Group B: Office ⇒ Stimulating BGM, Refreshment Room/Corridor ⇒ Healing BGM

Group C: Office, refreshment room, hallway ⇒ A mixture of healing and stimulating BGMs

In this study, each group worked under a different type of BGM for about two months after a pre-study period (observation period (1)). At the end of each observation period, participants were asked to complete a feedback questionnaire to rate their temporary mood scale (“excited”, “lethargic”, etc.), office image (image of the floor they work on), willingness to continue working (if they want to continue their current job), and job engagement (“I’m proud of my job”, “I feel more productive”). A variety of data including days worked, calls per hour (CPH), agent emotions, and questionnaire results were used to examine the effects of BGM on agents.

[Results] (See attached tables)

(1) Temporary Mood Scale

The measured value of “Tension” was lower in group A than in the other groups throughout the observation periods, and the variance was statistically significant.

(2) Call Per Hour (CPH)

Among the female agents in group C, the CPH was higher during observation periods (2) and (3) than during observation period (1).

(3) Correlation between BGM impression and participants’ feelings and performance

  • Group A: The greater the taste for BGM, the lower the level of anger and depression, and the higher the commitment to work and the desire to continue working. The impression of the office had a strong impact on the feeling and the performance of the participants.
  • Group B: The impression of the office had a strong impact on the feeling and the performance of the participants.
  • Group C: A positive correlation was recognized between the BGM played at the office and the CPH as mentioned above. It was also found that the greater the liking for BGM played in the office, the lower the level of anger and depression, and the higher the work engagement.

[Comments received from Professor Hiroki Ogyu, Associate Professor Hiromoto Hori and Associate Professor Shuji Honda, Faculty of Human Relations at OTSUMA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY]
Since the study showed several statistically significant results, this field study, conducted at participants’ actual workplaces for two months, is highly significant. The fact that female agents showed higher job engagement and other positive feelings at work than male agents is a good sign for call centers that have a relatively higher number of women. However, this suggests the need to consider ways to increase work engagement and positive feelings among male agents. Results that showed a higher correlation between healing and a mixture of healing and stimulating background music and lower stress levels and higher performance than between inspirational background music and stress levels and performance can be used as a starting point for considering appropriate background music for calls. centers.

About Sound Design for OFFICE, a music streaming service designed for offices

In February 2013, USEN launched Sound Design for OFFICE, a music streaming service. Under the concept – Designing space with sounds, Sound Design for OFFICE offers a selection of music suitable for office environments. As mental health care in the workplace has been gaining more attention recently, USEN launched the service with the aim of helping companies create comfortable office environments through sounds, leveraging on the know-how acquired by USEN. The streaming service’s channels are categorized into four characteristics of music for the office: boosting concentration, relaxing, refreshing, and raising awareness. Sound of Design for OFFICE offers solutions for offices to create a comfortable and friendly workplace through the power of sound. (no translation available)

About the Music Space Design Lab

Since our founding in 1961, USEN has been providing services and equipment to create spaces with sound, including BGM, for customers in various sectors such as restaurants, beauty salons, business offices, etc. Not only music, but also various sounds influence the human body and soul with the power of sounds; brighten up and create a joyful atmosphere, make an elegant impression, lift someone’s spirits, and more. With the aim of exploring the power of sounds, USEN conducts academic studies and research in collaboration with universities and researchers. Through this website, USEN continues to disseminate the effect of sounds in a clear and simple way, displaying the results of our various studies and research, as well as the expert column. (no translation available)

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