I spent my professional life working in only two places, in both of these companies a Carpet Rule was available to protect people’s coffee breaks. Simply put the carpet rule states that:
Work may be discussed only in carpeted locations.
The rule is based on the fact that work areas tend to be carpeted while kitchenettes, cafeterias and, not to put too fine a point on it, toilets are typically not carpeted.
The way the carpet rule is invoked usually goes like this.
Alice and Bob are on a coffee break when Charlie approaches.
Charlie: Hey Bob, what’s the status of the bug I assigned you?
Bob: I’m sorry, do you see a carpet here?
The Carpet Rule has many sub clauses and exceptions (one can discuss programming as long as it’s not directly related to work and one can opt-in to a work discussion) but it is there if you need it.
Now the fact that 100% of the places I worked had this rule cannot be used as an indication to the fact that it is indeed ubiquitous especially due to the fact that the two people most responsible for enforcing this rule are myself and the rule’s inventor whom I head-hunted from our previous employer…
Your mission Internet, should you choose to accept it is to adopt the Carpet Rule in your own place of employment for the greater good of coffee beaks everywhere!
 This isn’t the only time I was thwarted by Wikipedia, when another cow-orker and I started the Jews in Space wiki page it was quickly renamed to be List of Jewish Astronauts 😦