Put on a virtual background or the blur feature. Don’t let workers peek into your home.




i took a photo of the rest of my office as it would appear normally on my webcam, but after i cleaned it all up (this room is also used by my roommate to study and to hang dry clothes sometimes). and then i just set that image as my background. if any of my coworkers have noticed, they haven’t said anything hahaha


This is genius. I love the idea of just using a photo of a nice clean office, meanwhile you’re zooming from a trashed, depression bedroom.


I need to do this so I can do work meetings from bed...my headboard is too high and obvious to hide.


Is it that big a deal? I had a trlehealth appointment in early 2021 where the nurse I was talking with was clearly sitting in bed lol.


I wouldn't care if someone did it, but you never know what a bunch of coworkers I never bothered to get to know would do and I don't want to find out.


I once recorded a video from my webcam of me noding agreeingly for 5 minutes and taking notes. I then set this up as a video background and blocked my camera. I can now catchup on choirs while others think I'm paying attention... gets a bit dodgy when you wear the same clothes for 8 consecutive days but hey ho lol


Also when they address a question directly to you…. Bueller? … Bueller?


There was a story a while ago of a guy who had a fake background up of his home office, to cover for the fact that he was zooming from his car while driving.


It was really badly done. You could see the camera shaking the whole time and the background was going in and out between the car and the "office" background


This guy https://www.reddit.com/r/facepalm/comments/n6e0c7/ohio_state_senator_using_a_zoom_background_of_his/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share


The meeting was about road safety or driving safety too, just to top it off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eflctekUk10


We grabbed a screenshot of the boss' office while he had stepped away and use it regularly for giggles, but the idea of your own as a virtual one isn't horrible either.


I took a screenshot of my boss's home office when he got up for a sec and now I just use that.


that’s so fucking funny i’m doing that next time


I have a picture of a growling bear that, when I turn just right, looks like it's going to eat my head.


Fuck with 'em with photoshop. Take more pictures with your room in ridiculous or destroyed states. Bad day? Put up the disaster area version. Wanna fuck with em? Make the stuff in your room irregulaly sized. Giant lamp, tiny dresser, extremely long dog, etc. Need some sympathy for a change? Use the photo where there's a photoshopped Jeffrey Dahmer peeking in the window. The possibilities are pretty much endless.


Background with a godzilla sized cat destroying the city.


Cats of any size will agree: Fuck them Legos.


Have godzilla cat out a window, it makes it more fun watching people notice.


My son was going to help me set up a background and text bubble of the dog in the burning room, only the text bubble would be over my head saying, this is all okay...


This is fine.


Both of my cats will jump on the back of my computer chair. The only solution is to stand during calls haha


I painted my wall a really pretty seafoam green. It looks crap gray on video calls. Me, my chair, and a crap gray wall. In front of me and off camera are dogs, a cat, and various humans - all none of their business.


Some daylight lightbulbs might correct your seafoam to grey problem: https://www.gelighting.com/led-lights/bulbs/e26/ge-refresh-hd-daylight-60w-replacement-led-light-bulbs-general-purpose-a19 https://www.usa.lighting.philips.com/consumer/led-lights/warm-led-light


I made a video of my workspace... Several minutes in, my head pops around the corner for a second then disappears. Most people don't notice and you have to wait a long time for it to happen again.


I'd love to see someone do a version of that LG ad, where a meteor comes in and destroys the city. The background starts shaking, then this giant fireball appears and races towards the window, just before the screen goes black and says "reconnecting" instead of the person's image.


Is a Plesiosoaur considered a Dino? I'm a geologist-in-training and have questions lol.


No, large aquatic reptiles of the Mesozoic are separate from dinosaurs. Yay geology! I got my degree in it, and love Earth Science a bunch.


I occasionally still use the four seasons as the background for my calls because some memes will never die for me.


We talking press fiasco or nature four seasons


Press fiasco


Was hoping for that. That was a hilarious mess


Twist - it’s a Vivaldi concert.


Press conference. I live not far from there so I went and took a pic on a nice day. I wanted to get on that had the cremation place and the sex shop in one shot but they're all in different places so I just got the front of the place instead.


Uh this x1000! # Work has bossware on the WFH PC's. The system hot cams 24/7 apparent by the bright blue indicator. They also say you are supposed to leave it on 24/7 and networked even when not working. # I don't plug a cam in unless I am actively in a meeting and Ethernet is unplugged at the end of my shift. Fuck that. Oh and power too.


I wonder if that is legal. I am an IT guy we have pretty strict rules about WFH computers. They forced us to use a vpn just so that we could establish when someone was on the clock so we can only monitor when they are connected.


I once asked a high priced corporate lawyer about this. His response was "who cares? I'll win the case anyway". Which was..... Reassuring? 😭


Fuck that. They want to record my house 24/7? Then they are paying me 24/7 even if I'm not in front of the camera. Pretty sure there's got to be lawsuit material in there.


> They also say you are supposed to leave it on 24/7 and networked even when not working. In their tiny little dreams. Shit is getting disconnected the very second I clock out.


As if that isn't a GLARING violation of privacy. I'd be raising he'll in HR.


Fuck. Everything. About. That.


Duct tape on camera. "Yes its on and network connected. IDK why its black, maybe the camera blew out."


We had one returned the other day because the camera didn't work and when I examined it, the lens had been sharpied out. I wouldn't mind so much but it must have been the same person who reported it as broken.


Wow that's mad. I agree, fuck that.


Exactly. Funny how over the last two years coworkers / clients comment “oh, no real background?” And I just awkwardly reply “yeah.


... people comment on that? That's really bizarre, and I'm so happy no one I work with cares. Use real background or virtual, have your cat or kid with you, as long as you're getting your work done no one cares.


Most of the time like no one says a thing. It’s just that culturally this big shift happen without an established - for a lack of better word - etiquette. Do we default video? Do we default audio? Do we have real backgrounds or not? Should you be early or enter just as the meeting starts? Do we always we need to ask if you can see our screen? So many questions, not enough shits to give an answer


Yes but it’s been so long now. There was the pre-blur phase when you just showed your room, then the blur phase, the wacky background phase and now for a long time no one has even been bothering to turn video on. At least that’s how it’s gone at my work.


Q4 has def had big "don't look at me or I s2g I'll cry" vibes across my team.


At least on teams it seems like it takes a minute for the screen to show up, so useful question IMO


It’s a real background photo lol


I alternate between an xwing and the bridge of an imperial star destroyer. Fuck you, you don't get to see as much of my living space as I do.


I had the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and would angle the camera to the side so I was sitting in the pilot’s seat. My other favorite was a picture of a grizzly bear standing on its hind paws right behind me. Work has got organized and has more professional backgrounds we are supposed to use now.


Mine is the interior of the International Space Station with astronauts working behind me. Sometimes I act like I'm floating around during zoom meetings.


One of my friends was doing zoom calls at work and apparently one of his guys popped into zoom with two naked chicks as his background. The call was with county officials two of whom were women. He noped out of the meeting right away but the other company workers had to apologize profusely for him 😂


Well it sounds like you need to photoshop increasingly 'unprofessional' things into the 'professional' backgrounds.


I aspire to be as good as the guy who had a GIF of his actual room as the background. He would walk into shot behind himself, in his dressing gown, carrying a mug of coffee. The background him would walk over and put the mug down on the desk, out of shot. Foreground him would then pick it up and take a sip.


pro level


I downloaded the Star Trek: Lower Decks images for virtual backgrounds.


Next time it's. "yea, I live in on a pirate ship, but that's not important now, so what is your question?"


When we first went to virtual, I used a background of some super fancy penthouse with a jacuzzi and skyline view. A coworker commented how nice my house was with 100+ people on the call and I didn’t have the heart to respond with how obviously fake it was.


He probably knew and was playing into the joke.


Fooled me, then. Haha


"This is a real wall. I don't even own this one, maybe y'all should pay me more if you want me to have something interesting behind me."


I haven’t used video on meetings for over a year now.


"That's a DLC feature. You can buy it for the low low cost of what a really nice house in my area runs for."


Here's my [zoom background](https://imgur.com/a/7LMqyKT)


That is fine!


Just imagine when the facial recognition suddenly recognizes the cat's face and it materializes out of nowhere on the zoom call. Hilarity ensues.


If simple cats scare the big boss, floating head cats will be devastating.


Or just make your entire background a mural of your cat


That works until your cat jumps on your desk. Call it a jump scare lol


Yep. No one should need to see into your home. I use a movie based background that makes it look like I'm sitting in the seat on the set it's from


Haha that’s cool, I found the God in the Sky still (minus God) from Monty Python’s Holy Grail and put myself in Gods place, gets chuckles every now and then. Edit: [Link](https://images.app.goo.gl/6mCmBo2MnJiePLzX7)


A Virtual background of as many cats as possible.


Doesn't always work unfortunately. One of my direct reports was on a zoom call with all of her peers with a virtual background. Randomly a figure appeared behind her through the background. It turns out it was her significant other bottomless pleasuring himself on the bed. It was a good 10-20 seconds before she read my message to turn her camera off.


I mean, that’s how those filters work. They change the static image and keep the movement. Which means that anything moving in the camera will show up (fancy filters can be set to entirely ignore parts of the screen, but those are rare). So cats, birds, masturbating boyfriends…. If it’s movin’, it’s shown.


If it's only movement that's shown, now I'm kind of wondering if this chick was sitting on a call with a tranquil nature background that featured a disembodied penis and hand furiously jacking it. That would almost be hilarious enough to do on purpose. Especially once people are trying to figure out an acceptable way to hint to you that you should turn the camera off. "Uh, I don't mean to be a bother you Stacy, but did you know the maple behind you is trying to tap itself?"


Something is seriously wrong with someone who would do that.


"Hey babe, I have an important call so could you keep it down for the next hour" "Sure, Imma just jack off right behind you. But I'll do it real quiet."


wow that's a lot of faith to put in a crappy piece of software


And remembering to put yourself back on mute


On the contrary, my cat was a celebrity at my work. People would stall meetings to ask where he was. His adorableness won over some people who were useful to me.


My favourite part of zoom meetings was when other people's pets would make an appearance.


I think this is besides the point though.. I have a blurred background but my cats will come onto my desk and sometimes in view and I shouldn’t have to be asked to hide that


Sounds like a great excuse to turn your camera off


>sounds like a great excuse to turn your camera off Best response, this is what i did and not having to change in the morning is amazing


My employer does not pay to see inside my house. They pay for my services.


They don't even pay to see you, much as some bosses might think otherwise.




Exactly, she should tell them that she has a number of cats and that’s it’s physically impossible to be sure where they all are at any given time. Actually she’s not sure how many she does have so it’s impossible to ensure a cat doesn’t hove into view on the camera.


>it’s physically impossible to be sure where they all are at any given time The cat equivalent of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle


Something something schrodinger


Oh God! It's in the box!




"It's impossible to know whether or not you'll see a cat unless I turn my webcam on- the cat is simultaneously there and not there, and I don't want to expose anyone to the possibility of a cat, so I'm going to just participate in this meeting with audio only."


Zoomdinger's cat


That would actually be a hilarious name for a cat. Like now I want to name my next cat this just so I have an excuse to scream "Zoomdinger!!" Everytime he knocks something over. My neighbors would probably start avoiding me though lol


This is the answer. I don't do on camera video calls. I am entitled to my privacy and when asked, I simply say my system doesn't allow it. The one time they pushed it, my ISP had a 2 hour black out. So thanks to coincidence, I am camera free.


"blackout" in the form of a disconnected cable?


Lol, sadly it was not on my end. Comcast had a very public blackout in my region. Coworkers were also affected. The joke now is don't ask me for video.


That’s some fine manifestation sir


You guys turn your cameras on?


Once a week for a 30 minute meeting. With a virtual background. That’s all they get from me.


I feel lucky. My boss leaves it up to us if we want to turn our cameras on. I never do because I generally look like a hit mess and I'm using wearing my Harry Potter pajamas.


There was the video a while back where one of the attorneys on a zoom call in court was showing up with a cat face. I think she needs to do this at the next meeting and apologize, saying she doesn’t know what happened and can’t turn it off. Found it. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9f9eDBpnkaU


It was a weird setting in an old camera software, not on zoom and that's why they couldn't turn it off, just so other people know. It was a kinda known issue, I think it was a dell laptop.


>There was the video a while back where one of the attorneys on a zoom call in court was showing up with a cat face. I think she needs to do this at the next meeting and apologize, saying she doesn’t know what happened and can’t turn it off. >Found it. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9f9eDBpnkaU LOL! This would be the most perfect response. Be a cat filter. Say, there's no animals in the room it's just me!


I am not a cat


Keith Gill should have been Time Person of the Year and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise


We got [this gem](https://www.google.com/search?q=I%27m+not+a+cat+comic&oq=I%27m+not+a+cat+comic&aqs=chrome..69i57.4134j0j4&client=ms-android-tmus-us-revc&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=8mL4HUWqcbA_ZM) out of it, too.


Or dress all the cats in banana costumes and when she complains about your cats correct her and say that they are bananas.


I literally tape my camera shut and never turn it on


My Coworkers switched from Jitsi to Microsoft Teams. My camera went blank. And My participation rate never recovered


Yeah, completely nuts. For the boss to give one shit that OP has a cat. People have dogs and cats in their zoom all the time. Or kids and wives and random repair people and who knows what else. We are invading peoples personal space. If you have a problem with that, you're the problem.




OMG me too!! Thank you so much this was a pandemic highlight for me. “I’m here live, I’m not a cat” lololol Can you imagine how traumatized OPs GFs boss would be?!


I heard a meow at one point!😂


I'm prepared to go forward right meow


You've just made me belly laugh remembering this. Thank you kind stranger


The only thing similar to this I've ever experienced was when one of my students - my most troubled one out of 25 second graders - panicked over a cartoon picture of a worm on a fishing hook. He screamed "turn it over! That's my fear!" He thought it was a /cartoon picture/ of a snake.


big boss is secretly a second grader 🤫


All I picture here is the cat coming through the screen like the girl from The Ring to terrorize the boss.


*in a raspy voice* seven lives


I’d play with that cat till it ate me


I would document and comply based on her time in the position. I always keep a bullet journal with space to document these types of conversations - dates, times, people, and some specific statements as possible. Highly recommend it no matter the level in a company. She should see of they have a telecommuting policy with specific requirements too. My company has some vague requirements in our telecom policy about workspace set up and limited distractions. Ours specifically talks about children or care of other sick family members and doesn't mention pets. Me personally - I wouldn't have struggled as a supervisor to want to bring that issue yet. It's such a non-issue. My cats gave actually knocked over my laptop in a meeting that I was hosting and I didn't hear anything except laughter.


There’s a video on YouTube of an English government meeting over Zoom, with a fluffy cat tail in the camera and the owner yelling at him to put his tail down.


Yea, I thought we collectively expected pet related interruptions.. If not eagerly anticipated it.


My best Zoom meeting ever featured a dog eating a banana


I wish to see it and wish I was there for that epic moment.


My accounting professor got a St. Bernard puppy and spent a good 5 minutes of zoom class showing him to us. Absolutely delightful


Daily size checks, with a day one and finals photo as the screen for the final exam. Those things grow fast.


At my job it's a tradition whenever someone's giving a long zoom presentation to see who can get the most animals on their desk/lap/head in the frame at once so people don't get too bored by the speaker. Most I've seen so far is a cat on the desk (with bonus points for cat butt) plus german shepherd on lap, bird on head, and chihuahua standing on the shep.


Yeah this reminds me of Futurama where Nibblers people were trying to get shit done but also being completely cute af and sometimes you just have to do both :D


When I had online school, everyone loved all the dog snoots that popped into frame.


ever since we all went home and have been interacting on zoom, having pets randomly show up on camera has been the best part of any meeting. i have a russian blue that will be EXTREMELY insistent that i pay attention to him, even going to the point of reaching up and batting at my face so that i'll pet him. this becomes even funnier when i'm taking notes for a meeting and cannot pause to move him.




Thank you haha


My favorite was the news analyst whose toddler danced into the room followed by a baby in a roller chair and the mom frantically ran in to retrieve them.


I remember that!! It was awesome to see and we are all human Nothing really goes as planned. :)


One of my favorites ever. The energy and confidence of big sis in her adorable glasses as she marches in. The surprise baby rolling into view. The panic of the mom trying to pull them back quickly and it all getting jammed in the door. Perfect.


Which tells you all that you need to know about the state of our Government (I'm a Brit) at present


TBF, the guy's proposal seemed eminently reasonable.


That said, maybe better just to put blur on for all calls going forward


This is the best advice.


At my company, we're 95% WFH. All meetings are on zoom. Some of the most senior people I work for, who are hosting the meetings, with the owners and other managers present, have their kids in their laps or are holding their pets. The owners love seeing it. Been here a year and I have absolutely no clue what anyone's politics are and haven't heard of any drama, everybody is super friendly. Great places to work exist. Behaving reasonably and acting like a normal human being is not a stretch for businesses to run effectively. My dogs and cat routinely make noises when I'm in meetings and we just ignore it. Also, what's wrong with turning off the camera? I do that if I'm eating or just in sweats, but you don't need a reason. If you're getting your work done from home, then it's nobodies business what's going on around you.


Yea, my company only requires managers and up to turn on cameras and only in certain meetings. Most of our meetings are camera off if you want. This is my default option now.


Similar story here! I had a second interview last week for a job I've really wanted. Two interviewers, one was the VP of the area I'd be working in. Halfway through, one of my little knuckleheads decided to introduce himself by jumping on the desk and headbutting the laptop screen, nearly shoving it to the floor. I was horrified, but the VP laughed hysterically. Turns out they foster cats and have three of their own. They asked me to try and get my cat back on camera, and I did. I start my new job January 3.


Put a big picture of a cats on the wall behind her. It's insane and as adults we shouldn't have to bend to the irrational fears of other adults.


I help set up Zoom meetings for town government, sometimes very important people/high up grovernment officials join in. They'll have a fancy background and suit and tie type thing. It's surprising how many times a cat or dog will just decided to take center stage. You know what happens? People laugh, saw "What a cute pet!" The owner will mumble "Mr. Fluffyworth not while I'm in a meeting please! We'll play after." Then apologize, again some laughs as everyone says "Oh no worries. It was a pleasure!" And then they continue the meeting. This whole scenario is a mix of bring hilarious and stupid.


Ages ago I was on an important Zoom call (during a major lockdown so WFH) with my academic manager (basically the most senior member of staff I'll deal with) and within 10min of the call starting his cat decided that all the attention needed to be on him and got up in front of the camera. My manager was apologizing a fair but I told him I thought it was funny.


Yep! I work for my provincial government and one of our executives almost always has a cat in her lap during meetings, and we constantly see kitty demand attention. Another executive logged on while holding a baby goat LOL I always welcome pet interruptions.


Mr. Fluffyworth is a great name.


Better yet, use a cat filter next time like that viral lawyer mistake video


"I'm not a cat!"


Every once in a while I watch it to cheer myself up.


remember when that happened in zoom court last year


I'm not a cat is forever etched in the lexicon


If I had a nickel for everytime I heard "Im not a cat" in a court room, I'd have 2 nickels. Which isn't a lot, but it's weird that it happened twice


He's the fabled un-furry.


Tbh its not a big deal if it would of been approached in a civilized respectful manner. Like sorry cats make me uncomfortable is it ok if? This kind of back handed make other manager berate employee instead of talking with her herself is gross.


I have never used zoom but saw online somewhere a manager accidentally made themselves a potato for an entire meeting? Maybe she can accidentally make herself a cat?


Maybe it’s mostly only us lawyers who watched this on repeat this year https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lGOofzZOyl8


Omg I missed this one “I’m not a cat”


On the one hand, how it was handled is bonkers. On the other hand, some people have phobias. Maybe big boss was mauled as a child and had reconstructive surgery? We’d want some grace extended to us. On the gripping hand, my knee jerk reaction was to get a wall sized poster of Judy Dench in all her CGI glory from… *that* movie.


That motivational “Hang in there, baby” poster. “What? It’s work related!”


Why the actual hell did you remind me of that absolute fever dream of a movie? I’d just managed to repress that memory.


Upvoted just for the use of "gripping hand".


I’d bet dollars to donuts the boss is flexing because she thinks it’s unprofessional to have a cat in a video meeting.


lol a family member had their dog humping a pillow in the background during a meeting with company leadership including the CEO of this fortune 500 company. They laughed it off and moved on.


Boomer culture alert!!


Sounds like a test to see how much shit your GF will take. She needs to take a hard stance with this or it will be a case of boiled frogs with ever-increasingly ridiculous demands.


I told her to push back on the grounds of it being an irrational fear and not unprofessional to have a pet roaming the background. Unfortunately she’s too new. Having said that, based on how this played out, it’s not one person’s power trip. The big boss’s secretary called my GF’s boss, who called my GF. So this went down the chain of command, literally. They all are trying to accommodate the big boss’s childish demand. Edit: I’m not saying the fear of cats is irrational… I’m saying that fearing them on a computer screen when they’re not at all in the same building is irrational. Someone made a clown reference. And I would say that if I had clown picture on my wall behind me before I started working for the company, I wouldn’t take it down because someone didn’t like clowns. If they want me to turn off my camera or blur the background, fine… but if they ask me to remove the photo from my wall I would not do that. They can also pin someone else’s video to their feed and not even see mine if they had any intention of solving the problem themselves.


Very telling of the culture there and all the future BS that will have to be dealt with.


This. The more people they got in on this “reprimand,” the worse that company’s culture will be.


No shit. Sounds like this crazy cat bitch is a tyrant.


I would have said “sure i’ll just keep my camera off to ensure it never happens again.” now i don’t have to worry about camera mishaps, ez pz


Wow, seriously just when I think the absurdity of our current work environment can’t get anymore moronic🤦‍♂️


Have your gf demand a $500 cat-sitting coverage fee for all zoom meetings


That sounds like a nightmare. Only sociopaths hate animals that much and sociopaths are the worst to work for.


IMO that's messed up. I mean if it's a legit phobia then I guess you have to comply. It seems excessive to me. My wife works for the government and has the opposite problem. At the end of the meeting everyone shows off their pets and has to give an update! Our cat would lose his mind if he couldn't be part of the meetings.


Why would you be afraid of an animal in someone else's house.


What I’m trying to figure out is… does this person not watch Tv/Movies? I don’t think I’ve ever stared at a Tv screen for even an hour without seeing at least one animal. Every movie or TV show in existence (basically) has a dog or cat in it.


This was pretty much my reaction. They were so freaked out by a single cat over zoom that I guess they never leave their house, or watch TV, or movies, or really go on the internet at all? Sounds like bullshit to me. I do not believe someone with that level of neuroses could function in any high level capacity.


Yeah that's so unbelievably extra.


People are so dumb when it comes to assumed professionalism. Someone’s kid walking in-frame and puking? Not professional but not the end of the world (this happened on a meeting in mine recently). Someone’s car walking around? Who gives a shit? I would start asking to have more cat-presence in future meetings if possible.


I think I’d have to resist from laughing my ass off if someone’s kid walked into frame and just puked everywhere


If someone's car was walking around in the background I'd be pretty excited.


It's never a good idea to show your pussy in a zoom meeting.


Agree to disagree


God this is so stupid- it’s a virtual meeting, the cat’s not going to jump through the screen. Though folks mentioning blur the background or have a blank wall are right, sometimes animals are jerks. My terrier is one of them and always wants to be all in my business when I’ve got a meeting. One time I just put her in my lap so I could make sure she doesn’t start barking at dogs walking by. I was going into a meeting with my boss and a partner (law firm). When my boss signed in she had her dog in her lap (she has a senior Boston terrier that is pretty much velcro’ed to her). The attorney, seeing we had our dogs, goes to another room and comes back with his Guinea pig so he has a pet at the meeting too.


I was once asked to not eat bananas at work because my coworker couldn't stand the smell of bananas. Good God, I really wonder how they make through a single day let alone a professional career.


I hate bananas too. There's this amazing thing called space. See, you put some between yourself and the banana.


Some people expect the world to accommodate their every personal taste.


I had a coworker with the same aversion. Whenever we had potlucks she’d get hissy if someone made a dessert that had banana in it. She was not allergic, she just didn’t like the smell, taste or texture. Me being young and petty, I’d leave my banana peels in her trash can whenever I had one for breakfast.


I had a coworker collect banana peels for his goats. They loved them.


Let me get this straight.. Someone out there is scared of a cat seen on video? Like.. basically the half of internet that's not porn is basically cat videos.. Seriously?