Working from home is a little more bearable when “man’s best friend” is by your side. A glance over your shoulder to see those puppy dog eyes begging for attention, or your feline deep in an afternoon snooze, can give you a sense of comfort. Whether it's a dog, cat, bird, fish, or some other pet of yours, you don’t have to shoo them out of the room with every Zoom meeting! There is an opportunity, or a time and place, for you to bring your pet into view.
How Can You Include Your Pet?
As owners know, sharing pictures or stories about your pet is an opportunity you don’t pass up! It’s almost always reciprocated and appreciated by your audience. So, on your next Zoom call, barring one of extreme importance, feel free to include your pet. This could simply be throwing out a statement about how your dog is tearing up the carpet because he’s going stir crazy just like you! Or it could be a tangible action where you have your cat on your lap or desk so that your team can see, but it isn’t interrupting the dialogue to the meeting. Maybe, at the end of your Zoom call, everyone takes the time to pan the camera to their pets, or brag about their adorable and mischievous attitudes.
As long as you are respecting the time and the discussion of your team, there is nothing shameful about introducing your pet. It’s up to you to assess the nature of the call, and whether or not it’s an appropriate time to throw the tennis ball for your dog in the background.
Why is Pet Screen Time Important?
Not only does sharing more of your pet on Zoom provide more flexibility for you, it can also provide relief for your team. Our pets bring joy, relieve stress, and instill purpose in us by teaching responsibility and unconditional love. If someone on your team is having a bad day, your dog’s slobbery happy go lucky face can lift their spirits and add a little bit of joy to their day.
Increased bonding and communication with your team, is a benefit of pets on Zoom. Dog owners love to share horror stories or hilarious recountings of what their canine ripped apart or did to make them laugh. Swapping experiences with your team can establish a sense of commonality and give you a chance to learn more about what they value and how you can connect with them.
While we know it can be difficult to give a sales pitch on Zoom over the ear piercing whine of your boxer in the background, fellow dog owners understand your pain. Continue to maintain professionalism of how you conduct yourself in relation to the antics of your pet, but don’t rule out the opportunity to share their presence if the time is right.