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geoff (2013)

  reversethis-{gro ... om} {ta} {ffoeg}

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Journal of geoff (2013)

Monday October 07, 2002
02:39 PM

an argument for telecommuting

[ #8225 ]
I remember learning someplace that it takes the average person 45 minutes to regain mental focus after they've been interrupted. I think of this often when I'm in "the code zone," am asked to break away in order to do something silly and then can't remember what I was doing when I return to my desk.

I wish I could find that study - I could pass it out to managers everywhere as an argument for things like telecommuting and office doors and against things like pointless meetings, loud employees, and stupid questions...
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  • DeMarco... (Score:3, Informative)

    It sounds like something from Peopleware [] by DeMarco and Lister. It's a great book.


    • Yep, it's Chapter 10 in my edition. I've got the page marked and often make people who interupt me read the section on "Flow" before I will help them.


    • Yep. It's one of DeMarco's long standing rants. He talks about it in his latest book Slack []. It's intended to be a quick read, and focuses at some of the higher level issues in management, especially management in software development. (i.e., something you can give your skeptical manager and hope he'll learn something from it.)

      When he gets to the topic of task switching, DeMarco asserts that there's a 15% overhead incurred when switching tasks. He proves it by repeated assertion: it must be true becau

      • I've just finished reading Slack, and its been left on the desk of my indirect boss. He gets it, but others at that particular level of management don't.

        I'm not sure it really adds much to Peopleware, but it is written as a management-handbook type thing, rather than a Knowledge Workers Unite! type thing, which probably will earn it some brownie points with non-technical managers.

        Overall a pretty good book. Something I did at a previous job was get the development team a secretary, and the time it saved
  • An old boss of mine thought nothing of interrupting, because he never had mental focus himself. You can imagine how productive this made him.