Remote Worker Was “Reprimanded” for Playing with Cat During Zoom Call

Starting a new job can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. But imagine the surprise when, during a client Zoom call from home, a feline friend decides to make an unexpected appearance.

Yes, a cat, in all its glory, hopped onto the lap of a new employee, making a brief cameo in front of the camera.

The Boss’s Feedback

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Illustration. Image Credit: Minerva Studio/Shutterstock.

The call went on, but shortly after it ended, a message popped up. It was from the boss, pointing out that having pets on screen was deemed “unprofessional.”

This feedback left the employee in a predicament. The excitement of the new job was suddenly overshadowed by doubts about the company culture.

Could this be a sign of a rigid and unforgiving work environment?

Cats Are Unprofessional

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Illustration. Image Credit: Sarah McGraw/Shutterstock.

The incident sparked a flurry of reactions online. Some pointed out the humorous side, jesting that cats are inherently unprofessional, especially since they don’t bother dressing up for calls.

However, if it’s a tuxedo cat, it might just be a tad overdressed.

Others humorously suggested letting the cat take over the next client call, given its newfound fame.

Another comment brought up the famous line, “Your honor, I am not a cat,” referencing a previous viral Zoom incident.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

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Illustration. Image Credit: viviana loza/Shutterstock.

The incident also highlighted the varying norms across companies. Some companies have strict rules about what can be visible during virtual meetings, especially when dealing with confidential information.

For some, only those who can read shouldn’t see your screen, making pets and babies acceptable.

Others shared anecdotes of high-ranking officials having their pets, or even more amusing incidents, visible during calls.

Yet, there are also companies where employees proudly show off their pets during meetings, making for a light-hearted start.

Is Your Cat or Your Boss the Red Flag?

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Image Credit: Green Elk/Shutterstock.

Whether or not it’s a red flag if a boss reprimands an employee for a cat appearing on a video call largely depends on the context and the company culture.

Here’s a breakdown based on the information gathered:

Context Matters

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Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

The nature of the call can play a significant role. If it’s a client call, especially with a new or important client, the boss might expect a higher level of professionalism.

On the other hand, during internal team meetings, the presence of a pet might be more acceptable.

Company Culture

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Illustration. Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

Some companies have a relaxed culture where pets and even kids making appearances during calls are considered endearing or humanizing. Others might have a more formal culture where such occurrences are frowned upon.

Work-from-Home Etiquette with Pets and Other Distractions

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Image Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.

Start Your Morning Right: Engage in a morning routine that includes playtime or a walk for your pet. This helps burn off their excess energy, making them more relaxed during your work hours.

Provide Mental Stimulation

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Image Credit:topphoto/Deposit Photos.

Use interactive toys or treat puzzles for your pets. Consider laser toys or cat videos on platforms like YouTube for cats.

Create Boundaries

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Image Credit: Nils Jacobi/Shutterstock.

Establish a pet-safe area where they can play without causing disruptions. Also, consider setting up a pet-free workspace to ensure uninterrupted work sessions.

Stick to a Routine

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Image Credit: golubovystock/Shutterstock.

Pets thrive on routine. Schedule feeding times, playtimes, and walks to help them know what to expect.

Don’t Give in to Begging

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Image Credit:HayDmitriy/Deposit Photos.

It’s essential to reward good behavior and not give in when your pet seeks attention at inappropriate times.

Snuggle Breaks are Essential

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Photo Credit: OleksandrShatyrov/Deposit Photos.

Allocate specific times for cuddling or playing with your pet. This gives them something to look forward to and can also be a refreshing break for you.

Other Distractions: Managing the Home Environment

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Image Credit: CrizzyStudio/Shutterstock.

Organize Your Workspace: A clutter-free workspace can significantly reduce distractions and increase productivity.

Schedule Household Chores

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Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Allocate specific times for household tasks to ensure they don’t interfere with your work.

Stay Flexible

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Illustration. Photo Credit: DragonImages
/Deposit Photos.

Some days might be more challenging than others. Stay adaptable and adjust your schedule if needed.

The world of remote work has brought about new challenges and scenarios that many hadn’t anticipated.

While some companies embrace the human (and pet) side of their employees, others stick to a more traditional and formal approach.

Finding a balance and a work environment that aligns with one’s values and comfort level is essential.

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Illustration. Image Credit: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter.


Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.