The best songs for collaboration

We previously discussed how music makes you a better collaborator, both by making you more personally productive and by (literally) changing the way you see your coworkers. But which music? When you’re idly scrolling through Spotify’s new releases, is there a right choice and a wrong choice? Sure, the music snobs in your office will think so, but is there really a difference?

Researchers from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management sought to crack the code. Their three science-endorsed, high-powered, productivity-boosting jams that made workers feel more “powerful, dominant and determined”?

Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready for This” (think Jock Jams). 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.”

“What traits do the high-power songs all share?” Inc. asked in a recap of the research. “They are bass-heavy.”

So thank you, researchers, for discovering the secret initially discovered by the world’s first DJ: people like bass, and bass makes people do things.

The problem: no one wants to listen to those songs all day, if ever again in their lives. Maybe I’m just bitter because I always thought “No Limit” was the superior 2 Unlimited jam. Talk about a collaboration anthem!

See? Now that you’re feeling inspired to crush collective goals with your coworkers (and maybe play some pinball), how can you keep the collaboration party going? Here are some recommendations, made with a little help from our friends.


Two Fingers – “Stripe Rhythm”

If bass equals power, this thumper from Amon Tobin alter-ego Two Fingers will have your team feeling mighty indeed. Shout-out to Twitter follower @droopzilla for the suggestion.


Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – “It Takes Two”

If you’re like me, this song is already in your head every time you add a subscriber to an item in Central Desktop.


Empire of the Sun – “Walking on a Dream”

Sure, it’s another love song, but the lyrics – running and pushing up the hill for the thrill of it, persevering and finding a shoulder to lean on – have helped this song become a fixture on the playlists of millennials who find themselves on the metaphorical work treadmill (or on an actual treadmill).


The O’Jays – “Love Train”

People all over the world, join hands. Or at least connect with each other on Central Desktop. Thanks to Robert on our customer service team for this one.


Daft Punk – “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”

Sure, there’s a dystopian downside to being as efficient as robots, but still…


Explosions in the Sky – “Postcard from 1952”

No one does epic post-rock quite like EITS – and if they’re good enough to soundtrack the collaborative gridiron glory of Tim Riggins and Matt Saracen on Friday Night Lights, they’re good enough to power our brainstorming and planning sessions.


The “Wonder Pets” theme song

Thanks to Anisah in our Central Desktop Community for this suggestion. As the father of a toddler, I’m embarrassed I didn’t have it on the original list. “What’s gonna work? Teamwork!”


Europe – “The Final Countdown”

If there is a more deliriously cheesy song to play when you and your teammates are up against a deadline, I demand to hear it.

Songs for collaboration: honorable mention

Some of the seemingly obvious choices are just too played out; run far, far away from stuff like Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business.” You’re probably not going to fire up your team by making them feel like they’re in a commercial about office supplies. But despite complete oversaturation, you can still score with “Eye of the Tiger,” Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” or even “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

If your collaborative goals involve overcoming an outdated piece of technology, a clear soundtrack winner is Geto Boys’ “Still” – aka the NSFW Office Space printer destruction song.

Songs for collaboration: your choices

What’s the song that gets you fired up to vanquish tasks and triumph over collabohaters? We’d love to hear. We’ll even add it to this poll to see whether other people agree with you.

[polldaddy poll=8529447]

Post by Adam McKibbin

Adam McKibbin is the content marketing manager for iMeet Central. His writing has been featured in Adweek, the Chicago Tribune and The Nation, and he’s produced content for some of the leading tech brands on the Fortune 500.