“The Effect of Background Music on Call Center Agents”, A joint-study by USEN, transcosmos and OTSUMA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY suggests

TOKYO, Feb. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — USEN CORPORATION (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and Representative Director: Kimimasa Tamura; USEN), a member of USEN-NEXT HOLDINGS Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President, Representative Director & CEO: Yasuhide Uno), transcosmos inc., and OTSUMA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY (Main Campus: Tokyo, Japan; President: Masanao Itoh) have 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 the types of BGM and call center agents’ stress levels, etc. In the Study, participants were divided into three groups, with each group on a different floor level. Different types of BGM were played in office area, refresh room, and collider on each floor.

The details of the Study will be available to the public on USEN’s website, Music Space Design Lab (https://usen.com/portal/otodesign/).

[Study Overview]

The effect of background music (BGM) on call center agents


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

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

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


Call center agents working at 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, Refresh room/Corridor ⇒ Healing BGM

Group C: Office, refresh room, corridor ⇒ A mix of healing and stimulating BGM


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 fill out a feedback questionnaire to assess their temporary mood scale (“excited,” “lethargic,” etc.), office image (image of the floor they are working on), willingness to continue working (whether they want to continue their current work), and work engagement (“I take pride in my job,” “I feel I am more productive”). Various data including days worked, call per hour (CPH), emotions of agents, as well as the results of the questionnaire were used to examine the effects of BGM on the agents.

[Results] (See the attached charts)

(1) Temporary mood scale

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

(2) Call per hour (CPH)

Amon female agents in Group C, CPH was higher during observation period (2) and (3) than observation period (1).

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

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

Given that the Study showed several statistically significant results, this field study, conducted in the participants’ actual workplace for as long as two months is very meaningful. The fact that female agents showed higher work engagement and other positive feelings at work than male agents is a good sign for call centers which have relatively higher female workers. However, this suggests the need to consider ways to increase work engagement and positive feelings of male agents. The results which showed a higher correlation between healing and a mix of healing and stimulating BGM and a lower level of stress and a higher performance than between inspiring BGM and stress levels and performance can be used as a starting point to consider a suitable BGM for call centers.

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

In February 2013, USEN released Sound Design for OFFICE, a music streaming service. Under the concept – Designing space with sounds, Sound Design for OFFICE comes with a selection of music that suits office environments. Given that mental healthcare at workplaces is drawing more attention recently, USEN released the service with a wish to assist businesses in creating comfortable office environments through sounds, building on know-how USEN has acquired. The streaming service channels are categorized into four features of music for offices – boost concentration, relax, refresh, and raise awareness. Sound of Design for OFFICE brings solutions for offices to create a comfortable and employee-friendly workplace with the power of sounds.

https://sound-design.usen.com (no translation available)

About Music Space Design Lab

Since our foundation in 1961, USEN has been offering services and equipment for creating spaces with sounds including BGM for customers across various industries such as restaurants, beauty salons, business offices, and more. Not only music, but also various sounds exert an influence on human body and soul with the power of sounds; brightening up and creating happy atmosphere, making a stylish impression, cheering someone up, and more. With the aim of exploring the power of sounds, USEN conducts academic studies and research together with universities and researchers. Through this website, USEN continues to disseminate the effect of sounds in a clear and simple manner, posting the results of our diverse studies and research, plus expert column.

https://usen.com/portal/otodesign/ (no translation available)

Media Contact

transcosmos inc., transcosmos inc., +81-3-6709-2251, [email protected]


SOURCE transcosmos inc.

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