In today’s “ping culture” of frequent chat messages and impromptu huddles, uninterrupted focus time can seem like an elusive dream, rather than a typical workday.

Deep Work is counted as two or more hours of meeting-free, uninterrupted time to truly focus on work. (This may be a scheduled event called Deep Work, or it may simply be an open window on an ICs calendar.) This is when we get the opportunity to dive below the surface for creative problem-solving. We deduct time spent responding to messages on Slack or Teams during that time, because context switching takes away from the focus value of Deep Work.

These factors affect how we categorize time spent in a day:

More Deep Work is associated with a lower in Always On risk—showing that, when engineers have sufficient time to focus, they have less of a need to work more than eight hours in a day. One way we have heard this manifest for developers is that they get caught up in meetings and short work blocks all day, and then need to catch up on the day’s pull requests and Slack messages in the evening or weekend to unblock their teammates.

We maintain that Deep Work is a cornerstone of engineering effectiveness.

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For ideas on how to protect time for Deep Work for your teams, read more here: Protecting time for Deep Work