Zoom meetings causing you to zone out? If so, you’re not alone. Zoom fatigue is a real thing, meaning that in the new normal of video conferencing, many people are really half checked out—or downright uncomfortable—when they’re checked in to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or any of the other conferencing platforms.
So, how do you turn it around?
In our ongoing efforts to support mental health through laughter for veterinary teams during stressful times, our latest Friday Fun blog draws from a pet perspective to offer three tips on managing Zoom meetings like a champ!

Bored? Think Treats!

Let’s face it. Some Zoom meetings are long and boring, but for the sake of your job and/or continued good relations with colleagues, you must pretend to look interested, which is not always easy to do.
To feign convincing interest easier, imagine the dog equivalent of some delicious treat like cake, ice cream, or Doritos. It doesn’t really matter. Just imagine your favorite treat as you stare into the screen with wide-eyed enthusiasm and you’ll come across as interested as a puppy with a new squeaky toy.
Caution: Stagger your imagining, and do not imagine a favorite treat too intensely. If you do, drooling may occur, and your colleagues may think something is wrong with you and not invite you to future Zoom meetings (unless that’s what you’re going for).

Stuck for Pre-Meeting Small Talk? Mention Frisbee!

Most Zoom meetings begin with some form of small talk, with a common question being, “So, how are things going?” And within the framework of a work-related Zoom call, you understandably may feel the need to respond in a way that sounds impressive to management and colleagues. Trouble is, with physical distancing measures still in effect in some places, you may be stuck for a reply that doesn’t go much beyond, “Pretty good. I finished binge-watching Game of Thrones.” In other words, you may find yourself struggling for an answer that has a suitable wow factor.
To remedy this, simply think of things that dogs love to do. Example: “Things are going great! I’m staying active with daily walks. I‘m playing the odd game of Frisbee, and yesterday while driving, I stuck my head out the window and enjoyed the feeling of the sun and wind on my face. So, I’m feeling great and loving life.”
Caution: While companies enjoy hearing that their employees are staying fit, feeling healthy, and loving life, be selective in your use of things that dogs love to do. Example: While saying you enjoyed a splash in a stream sounds perfectly normal, saying you enjoyed an afternoon chasing a squirrel after slipping free of your leash may land you in another kind of Zoom meeting with Human Resources.

Tired of Dressing Up? There’s Always “Pet Costume”

Depending on your work culture, you may be required to appear in appropriate business clothing during a Zoom meeting. Yet you’re at home, meaning you naturally want to be comfortable.
So how do you easily combine style and comfort?
Many people have taken a page from pet Halloween costumes, meaning sharp and/or fancy from the waist up and pants optional.
Just how common is it for people to go “pet costume” during Zoom meetings.
According to a recent survey by YouGov, only 53% on Americans wear pants all the time when videoconferencing.
Caution: If you choose to go “pet costume” during a Zoom meeting and must get up for some reason, make sure you first click off video. If you forget, you can take small comfort in knowing that you’re not the first, and foibles (however embarrassing) are relatable. Just remember what dogs do when caught ripping up a throw pillow or slippers. Simply react in a way that says, “Oops! You caught me. My bad.” Then think about how you can get away with it again without being caught.