Once people appreciate that every time a programmer is interrupted he loses half an hour, they soon desist. Providing programmers with their own spaces to work in (discussed in Chapter 4) stops spontaneous chatter; however, going to this expense is a complete waste if people are going to bombard them indirectly. Here's a starter set of rules:
♦ Turn your cell phone off before you start work.
♦ Disable Internet chat systems.
♦ Only check e-mails during breaks.
♦ Anyone who has to contact you urgently during working hours should use the normal phone.
♦ Other members of the staff who wish to contact you should only do so via your project manager.
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