Ours is a software development team. We are on a tight schedule.

Is it good to allow other team members come and do personal discussions with our team members regularly.

How should I see. Is it good/okay/bad.

I am asking this question in terms of culture and mood of other members/developers.

If it is not good, how to convey this to them(my team-member/other team-member)

  • Personally, I almost prefer that my team members get to know each other personally to help build the feeling of a team. Do you find it's interfering with your schedule? Is this why you ask? Apr 13, 2017 at 10:22
  • 1
    @Teacher KSHuang Yes, it is interfering with schedules. How to convey it so that they wont get hurt. Apr 13, 2017 at 12:39
  • 1
    I just did something like this yesterday; I told my staff, "Hey, you guys, it's been over ten minutes" (the length of their break between classes). They immediately got up and understood and went back to work. My point is, I just try to keep these sorts of comments short and simple by appealing to common sense. We all know we should not chitchat too much at work, so just a, "Hey, guys, too much," is enough. Plus, we ourselves are not perfect, so who are we to criticize? We may gently remind, but not criticize. (Cont'd.) Apr 14, 2017 at 8:24
  • 1
    But my suggestion may not work in your country/culture, so as others have mentioned, this question may be better answered if you propose a few solutions and let us help you check them for feasibility. Apr 14, 2017 at 8:25

2 Answers 2


Software development is a creative process, and not just pecking away at a keyboard.

It is often also very collaborative. Allowing for personal discussion is a good thing because it establishes relationships, breaks the monotony, often causes moments of inspiration, and reduces conflict.

If you have a friendly relationship at work you are more likely to say "Hey, why did you code this procedure this way?" as opposed to complaining to management.

I have first hand experience with this. Often times the socializing wanders into work related issues, and sometimes the work related issues SEEM like socializing. We had a manager from a different department complaining about us all the time. Same manager came back asking why we had such good communication on our team.

The benefits, IMO outweigh any perceived loss of productivity, because it's more than made up for with higher morale and greater collaboration. If deadlines are being met and the work is getting done, it is a benefit.

That said, if it gets to the point that work is NOT getting done, then a gentle, "folks, we need to knuckle down" is warranted, but never make it hostile.


I'm sure culture has a large part in this but in general terms communication between team members is vital in enabling them to work together more effectively. If that means sometimes talking about the weather, common interests, or other non-work related matters then this is fine. This strengthens bonds, boosts morale etc. I wouldn't worry about it unless you find that the team are falling behind on any deadlines in place; or indeed appear to be spending no time whatsoever doing work.

I don't know what working methodologies or tools you're using (i.e. agile / scrum and using code repositories like Git or task management software like Team Foundation Server) that will allow everyone to see what folks are doing... if you're their team leader don't be shy about asking folks how they're getting on if you're worried they're slipping behind.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .