Cats, kids, Dave Grohl, mice and men—when it comes to virtual meetings while many of us are working from home, we’ve seen whole different sides of each other.
Many working professionals have gotten used to the remote work life over the past year or two, or 10; at this point, all days blend in. And as workers dialed in for the days of never-ending meetings at the beginning of COVID, there were a few noticeable shifts moving from the in-person meeting to the virtual meeting.
We caught glimpses into our colleagues’ personal lives, learned who the cat lovers were, and stumbled into random conversations that would have probably never happened if the team were in the same room. After seeing crayon drawings on a colleague’s wall, it made me realize how unique remote work life is when 90% of the company is still working from home.
Ready for a list of some random/comical/bizarre moments that have taken place courtesy of virtual meetings? Read on.
One entertaining aspect of virtual meetings is the glorious realm of the chat function. A plethora of GIFs, memes and vides have been shared as colleagues embrace their need for a bit of comic relief. All it takes is one phrase in a meeting to start the domino effect of relatable content being shared in the chat.
After we all settled into remote work life at the beginning of the pandemic, memes that portrayed the reality of working from home became a source for much needed laughter. Here are some relatable gems for you.
After over a year of virtual meetings, we now know who of our colleagues adores cats over dogs. Cats seem to make more of an appearance during meetings as they can jump up on tables, climb in front of webcams, and occasionally step on a few keys here and there during a meeting, (attempting to contribute to the conversation, possibly?), leaving your colleague to push the cat off the desk and type in the chat, “Sorry, my cat was typing.”
Some of your colleagues may live in old apartment buildings in the city or homes near the woods—either way, mice have made their presence known during the pandemic. You may have witnessed the live reaction of your colleague seeing a mouse crawl across their living room while you sat comfortably in your office chair; a site that would pair well with a bowl of popcorn. Shock, panic, fear and disgust enter the eyes of your colleague as they bring their knees to their chest and stare off into the corner of the room, which you correctly guess is the mouse.
The cat owners graciously offer to lend their cat for the week.
For working parents, the peace and quiet of the office is no longer promised as they’re forced to work remotely while their kids are also home. It has become standard for parents to mute themselves during virtual meetings so they can yell at their kids for breaking dishes, not taking the dog out, or for interrupting the meeting with questions on what to make for lunch.
As you watch the muted scene, you’re left chuckling as your colleague silently shouts demands at their kid off camera, perhaps hiding in shame in the corner.
The frequent appearance of partners, spouses and roommates in meetings has become the norm as they move from room to room and walk behind your colleagues on camera. Most of the time their appearance is brief as they skip and run to avoid the camera. But every now and then a curious individual lingers in the room and listens in on the conversation—maybe cleaning or making lunch—and ends up becoming an active participant in the meeting they weren’t invited to for a company they don’t even work for.
Ah, the meeting background: a perfect topic for conversation. You can easily identify the big sports fans, music enthusiasts, and those struck with wanderlust. Upon logging in for a meeting meant to connect on logistics or data, it can be easily sidetracked by someone with a Foo Fighters background depicting David Grohl screaming into a microphone on stage.
A simple question of “Have you seen them in concert?” can lead to a 10-minute conversation about favorite concerts and first concerts. Who doesn’t want to have that chat?
The above are just a few random/comical moments courtesy of virtual meetings that would never happen in a physical meeting space.
What bizarre, funny virtual meeting moments have happened to you? Let us know in the comments.
Danielle is a Senior Communications Specialist at Progress, where she is also on the leadership team of the employee resource group, Progress for Her, and an Advisory Committee member on Progress’ Inclusion & Diversity Committee. When she’s not at work, you can find her writing, reading, or acting like a tourist in her own city.
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