Q3 2019

34 | Q3 2019 Jan19251 Offering a truly unique concept, Music in Offices aims to improve morale and productivity by introducing music to corporate environments. As part of our showcase of our SME Business Elite we profile the company to find out more about the innovative services it has to offer. No Need For The Rain: Bring Singing Into The Office! Established by Tessa Marchington in 2007, Music in Offices was inspired by her experience of studying at the Royal Academy of Music and her musical upbringing. Over the years Tessa and her team have been working alongside a wide variety of clients to transform business culture through music. The company has now been operating for over 12 years and delivered 12,000 choir rehearsals and over 60,000 music lessons to over 70 businesses over this period. Each of the company’s services has a unique benefit and provides staff with an outlet for three creativity and a chance to see their workplace in a new light. One of the innovative services Music in Offices provides is the introduction of office choirs. When the company first set up an office choir they position the choir alongside HR, as a business benefit. It has to share the same status as other professional services in order to be sustainable, achieve its potential for change it can and for the value to be understood. For example, the Robert Half Report in 2014 highlighted the importance of good working relationships in fostering innovation and collaboration and community. Choirs provide improvements in how companies communicate their brands, but more importantly how employees within the company communicate, interact, collaborate and connect with each other because of being a part of the choir. In a sometimes very hierarchical environment choirs are a leveller. They are intergenerational and employees’ work status gets left behind at the door. This is cross departmental, as people who have never spoken stand shoulder to shoulder and sing together, and as a result Music in Offices is able to foster feelings of reciprocity of relationships and inverted hierarchy. Alongside supporting members of a specific business, these office choirs can also be used to raise money for charity, with Music in Offices often hosting concerts and performances in various locations. The company provides numerous performance opportunities and after any performance, with the addition of adrenalin, pride and ownership is established and there is a sense of belonging to both the choir and the community of the company. There is even an Office Choir of the Year competition, which was introduced in 2010 as a way to bring together office choirs that were already in existence and as a way of encouraging other offices to start. Nineteen choirs entered in the first year and this has been a success ever since, drawing choirs and team members together in a spirit of friendship and friendly competition. Another key aspect of Music for Offices’ work is music lessons, which can be key to overcoming issues such as absenteeism, poor mental and physical health and lack of motivation. Both anecdotal evidence and some studies have shown that having somewhere where people can step away from the desk to spend half an hour doing something completely unrelated to their work has a huge impact on individuals’ working life. Ultimately, through the introduction of music lessons, choirs, workshops and team building projects, Music in Offices embraces the power of music to encourage collaboration, creative thinking and better wellbeing in any workplace. Looking ahead, this will remain the company’s core focus as it seeks to drive greater awareness about the importance of music in workspaces and show the power it has for bringing together disparate groups of employees and making them build a better environment for themselves together. “My lessons are a great way to de- stress and unwind, while boosting morale and productivity. Each lesson leaves me feeling refreshed and energised, with improved concentration. It’s staving off the inevitable memory loss for a little while longer too!” - Peter Young, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright “I have learned more about how to give constructive feedback through my lessons than I have through all the training I have been given as part of my job. It is in the endlessly positive and patient approach my teacher demonstrates and she will always find something to praise or take pleasure in. I have taken that learning and found myself using it when I give feedback to the associates I manage and mentor.” - Anonymous Partner at Linklaters LLP “Knowing that I have that hour each week, where I can escape into the music, has had a profound impact on me. I come away from each session feeling uplifted and ready to tackle anything that is thrown my way,” - Lauren Birney, SEI Company: Music in Offices Contact: Tessa Marchington Website: https://musicinoffices.com

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