To all the desk jockeys of the world, I direct your attention to Listen to a Movie, a site which allows you to (as the name suggests) listen to the audio of thousands of movies, shows, and comedy specials, no video required.
Listen to a Movie claims to have been created “for the enslaved cubicle workers of the world who enjoy LISTENING to movies while the work.” It’s been around for a long time now — a LifeHacker article from 2007 called it, “Unbelievably cool and seemingly unlikely-to-last.” The site allows you stream film audio through your browser, no video player needed.
There’s not much in the Radio and Comedy categories, but the Movie and TV folders are filled to bursting with excellent options. The original Star Trek, My Cousin Vinny, Die Hard, The Thin Man, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory… you’ve got a pretty wide variety of options. Seriously, if you need an old favorite to put on as background noise, this is the place where you can do it for free, and without running the risk of having a video open.
And if you think you need to be able to watch a movie to enjoy it, I recommend you give the audio a try. You might be surprised.
If you’ve covertly watched an episode of Stranger Things from your work desk, you’re far from alone. A full 26 percent of respondents in a 2017 Netflix survey said they’d binged movies and TV shows while at work. Given how ubiquitous streaming services are, and how addictive the content can be, it’s probably not a surprise workers feel compelled to sneak in an episode or two after another round of paperwork.
I’m not judging. Not everyone works well in complete silence — I have a playlist of swing revival I listen to while writing, for example — but watching Netflix or YouTube will probably not go over well in the average office environment. This might sound obvious, but lots of employers wouldn’t be thrilled to roll past your office and see you with your feet on the desk, catching up on Black Mirror.
But listening to a movie might still let you fly under the radar. Quite besides the fact that it might not cut into your own productivity as much (assuming you don’t find another distraction for your eyeballs), it also means you don’t have to keep a video open on your screen that anyone could walk by and see.
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