The World’s 21 Most Popular Work-From-Home Songs, According to Spotify

Working from home means getting to belt out Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" without your coworkers shushing you.
Working from home means getting to belt out Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" without your coworkers shushing you.
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

While some people prefer complete silence or soft rain sounds as a backdrop for their work-from-home experiences, other employees are currently filling their makeshift offices with the musical works of everyone from Johann Sebastian Bach to the Jonas Brothers.

UK-based business consultant service BusinessComparison pored over 393 Spotify playlists—a combination of those created by users and ones posted by Spotify—that featured “work from home” and various derivative phrases in the titles to discover which tracks are most popular among self-isolating staff members.

The top 21 songs are a unique jumble of upbeat classics, newly released pop chart-toppers, and tracks that not-so-subtly allude to the coronavirus pandemic. Of the 50,000 songs found across all playlists in the study, Fifth Harmony’s 2016 hit single “Work From Home” was the most common, featuring on 54 playlists. Close behind was “Blinding Lights,” a single off The Weeknd’s album After Hours, released in March 2020, and Dolly Parton's perennially beloved—and circumstantially appropriate—song “9 to 5.”

As for cheeky nods to life in quarantine, the list also includes The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” MC Hammer's “U Can’t Touch This,” R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It,” and the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.”

Though certain ultra-popular artists didn’t have any individual songs crack the top 21 list, some of them made the list of top artists. Altogether, songs by Taylor Swift were seen on work-from-home playlists a total of 217 times, making her the second most popular work-from-home artist; Bach bested her by a grand margin of one to take the top spot. Fleetwood Mac, Queen, and The Beatles all made the list, too.

Peruse the full list of songs below, and find out how to boost your productivity while working remotely here.

  1. "Work From Home" // Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign
  1. "Blinding Lights" // The Weeknd
  1. "9 to 5" // Dolly Parton
  1. "Mr. Brightside" // The Killers
  1. "Don’t Stand So Close to Me" // The Police
  1. "Don’t Start Now" // Dua Lipa
  1. "Adore You" // Harry Styles
  1. "Toxic" // Britney Spears
  1. "U Can’t Touch This" // MC Hammer
  1. "Don’t Stop Believin’" // Journey
  1. "It’s the End of the World As We Know It" // R.E.M.
  1. "Say So" // Doja Cat
  1. "Watermelon Sugar" // Harry Styles
  1. "I’m Still Standing" // Elton John
  1. "everything i wanted" // Billie Eilish
  1. "Survivor" // Destiny’s Child
  1. "Stupid Love" // Lady Gaga
  1. "What a Man Gotta Do" // Jonas Brothers
  1. "Stayin’ Alive" // Bee Gees
  1. "Mr. Blue Sky" // Electric Light Orchestra
  1. "Circles" // Post Malone

[h/t BusinessComparison]

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

7 Fascinating Facts About Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe performs at the State Theatre in Minneapolis in 2018.
Janelle Monáe performs at the State Theatre in Minneapolis in 2018.

In music, there are artists, original artists, and then there’s Janelle Monáe. Since breaking out a decade ago with her first album, 2010's The ArchAndroid, Monáe—who was born on December 1, 1985—has seemed unstoppable, pushing the envelope with her astonishing blend of different musical styles, daring fashion sense, and serious acting chops. Bottom line: If Janelle Monáe has a new project, it’s going to be worth checking out. Here are some fascinating facts about the talent behind The Electric Lady.

1. Responding to a fan got Janelle Monáe fired from her job at Office Depot.

Before hitting it big, Monáe paid the bills by working at Office Depot while she was attending the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. She received an email from a fan and sent a response—on a company computer. She was let go, but the experience inspired her to write the song “Lettin’ Go.”

2. Janelle Monáe is still annoyed about losing the lead in a high school production of The Wiz.

Monaé's talent was clear at a young age. Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, she won three consecutive Juneteenth talents shows by covering songs from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill each year. However, while Monáe headlined many of her high school's musicals, she lost one major part—Dorothy in The Wiz—because family duty called. Monaé's mom needed to be picked up from work, which meant that the aspiring actress had to leave her audition early. As a result, a fellow classmate got the part; according to Rolling Stone, it's something that still bothers Monáe to this day.

3. Janelle Monáe’s acting career had an animated start.

Janelle Monáe stars in Antebellum (2020).Lionsgate

As if Monáe's music career wasn't impressive enough, she's also shown some serious acting talent in the last several years. Monáe has been a powerful presence in films like Moonlight and Hidden Figures, along with her starring role in the second season of Homecoming. However, her first film appearance was a voice acting role. In the animated sequel Rio 2, Monáe played the aptly named Dr. Monáe, a veterinarian. Her song "What Is Love" was also featured on the film's soundtrack.

4. Janelle Monáe had a close friendship with Prince.

There are countless musicians and artists who can claim the late Prince as an inspiration. Few of them can actually call him a friend. The Purple Rain mastermind championed Monáe and helped guide her creative process. According to Rolling Stone, he was the first person to receive a copy of Monáe's debut studio album, The ArchAndroid, which was delivered with flowers and a handwritten tracklist.

5. Janelle Monáe’s albums have had a narrative thread.

Monáe’s love for science-fiction is quite apparent, based on her discography and expressed fondness for films like Fritz Lang’s groundbreaking silent film Metropolis, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her debut EP, Metropolis: The Chase Suite, and first two studio albums, The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady, each centered around an alter-ego: Cindi Mayweather. This titular "archandroid" was meant to serve as a bridge between humans and robots. During The Electric Lady tour, fans were given pamphlets labeled "The Ten Droid Commandments." The Afrofuturism and sci-fi elements of Monáe's earlier music aren't emphasized as much on her most recent album, Dirty Computer, but the excellent quality is.

6. Janelle Monáe has been honored by Harvard.

Monáe has racked up numerous awards, including an MTV Video Music Award, a Satellite Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, two Soul Train Music Awards, and even more nominations. She also has some serious Ivy League endorsements. In 2014, after headlining Harvard’s annual Yardfest event, Monáe was the first recipient of the award for Achievement in Arts and Media by the Harvard College Women’s Center. That same year, the Harvard Black Men’s Forum named Monáe Woman of the Year.

7. Janelle Monáe pays tribute to her parents through her outfits.

Janelle Monáe performing at the 2016 Boston Calling Music Festival.digboston via Flickr // CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to her fashion sense, Monáe is known for her daring styles. One of her most iconic looks is a black and white tuxedo. Discussing this on Fresh Air, Monáe said she did this to honor her parents, who had to wear uniforms throughout their work lives. Her mother even worked a catering job with a tuxedo uniform dress code. "So that was one reason why I was constantly wearing the black-and-white tuxedo," she said. "And then I wanted to rebel against the gender norms and what it meant to dress like a woman or what it meant to dress like a man."