My question here was put on hold because it was 'off-topic'.

Is it unprofessional to listen to music while at work?

Why is this?

This question is....

  • About professionalism not about company regulations
  • Not specific to my company but in the workplace in general
  • About the workplace
  • Not about me specifically

So why was it marked as off-topic?

1 Answer 1


A question asking if something is professional is by definition primarily opinion based. The responses will differ depending on culture, from corporate to federal. Everyone will have a different opinion, and none of these opinions can be backed with any factual data.

Instead, The Workplace SE works best for questions about a real problem you're facing. As an example, there's How can I make wearing headphones at work more acceptable? This question has a clear, actionable goal in mind, and the answers provide details on what a person can do who wishes to make this more acceptable in their workplace.

If you can edit with a clear goal in mind, we can look at reopening, but I suspect your question would become a duplicate of the one I linked. You should check out that post and see if it solves your problem.

  • So the question is not "off topic" but rather "open to interpretation"
    – Ghaag
    Sep 4, 2014 at 15:46
  • Almost the entire site is opinion-based, including your suggested re-wording. workplace.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=votes I looked at the first page of the most popular questions - all are opinion-based. Mathoverflow can play the "opinion-based" card, Workplace by and large can not.
    – coburne
    Sep 11, 2014 at 16:50
  • @coburne - It is a very thin line that our site rides, which is why taking a deep breath, re-reading the on-hold question, and finding a way to slightly edit it can help bring it more in-line with being backed, not by unsubstantiated opinion, but opinion backed by facts and references. That's really the key: Will the question evoke answers backed by facts and references.
    – jmort253
    Sep 12, 2014 at 2:43
  • 1
    @Ghaag - I recommend reading Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. It does a good job explaining, via the six guidelines for a good subjective question, how questions can be worded to attract fact-based answers. Opinions are fine, as long as they can be backed up. Hope this helps clarify.
    – jmort253
    Sep 12, 2014 at 2:45

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