Silence for studying (because I get distracted), but writing and other daily life things usually have my British comedies on in the background ... in fact, right now is 'Are You Being Served?' with the episode about the staff assuming that Young Mr. Grace is going to propose to Mrs. Slocoumbe.
The last place I worked at had huge signs posted around the clock-in station saying 'NO boomboxes, NO headphones, NO music of ANY kind'. Apparently, people weren't able to hear the boss yelling while listening to music, and she HATED to be ignored. With the amount of noise we had in that place (diner), I was surprised anyone was able to hear any music.