Pets at meetings?

Roman Velitskiy
18 replies
So as you have already guessed I have a husky. It loves to add some horror movie vibes to my video calls by singing songs of his people. I occasionally see my colleagues' pets during calls, which triggers different reactions of the meeting members ranging from "oooh" to "oh". What's your take on this?


Mr Ethar Alali
I'm personally not at all bothered as long as others aren't bothered by the pets. Where it does disturb others or makes them uncomfortable, I will ask for the pets to be taken outside or the Zoom muted. In general though, I'm more bothered about whether pets are bothered by me! I've told this story for the second time this week, having forgotten about it for 24 years, but I've worked in lots of firms who've had "pets allowed" policies, so I'm very comfortable around them. As a young dev, I once had this terrible experience where I accidentally rolled my chair back, only to roll a rear wheel over the boss' dog's ear! Ben, the dog let out a medium volume, high pitched continuous squeal. Me and the other dev in the room wondered if it was his machine. Perhaps a fan or his HDD? Until the boss turns round wondering about the noise and screams my name! Oblivious, I was turned round to see Ben shuddering under the wheel of my chair yelping! Needless to say, I was mortified! Yikes!
Amira Mansour
@ethar_alali Wow. What a story! I am not bothered by them either. I think they can be really valuable, for instance cats are known for reducing stress. So why not having cats around even on zoom calls :).
Mr Ethar Alali
@sansa cats tend to type messages for you, I find :) But otherwise, yes totally! As long as it's explained to attendees, I don't think it's a problem. What you mentioned about stress reduction is not only anecdotal. It has scientific evidence. In the UK, "Pet Therapy" is actually a thing! It's often used by community mental health teams to provide support to those suffering from enduring mental health conditions.
Jun Gong
I have two cats and I usually allow them to hang out around my desk. They get very excited when I'm on a conference call for some reason lol and really want to see the camera and step on my keyboards -- prolly want more attention. And they usually make people laugh and make meetings a little more fun, so guess it's a good thing.
Jun Gong
@sergeyshihaleev For sure, and trust me, they're really good at it!
Dominic Brown
I do not like animals to attend business meetings. Because I think it will cause me to lose focus in the meeting.
Aaron O'Leary
Personally, I am all for it but I can understand not being so. There is the potential to create a distraction. I feel at the onset or end of a call, it's all good but say during a stand up it could be a little unfair.
Rikki Hillenbrand
I also believe this is also strongly dependent on the kind of meeting, company, and people involved. I love dogs and have mine around whenever possible, even in meetings. However, when I am having a meeting about important decisions that need to be made, meetings with customers or investors, etc., I try to leave him in another room. Dogs can be very good for a work environment, reducing stress and just spreading positivity. Some situations ask for undivided attention, however, and while negative distractions (pinging phones, loud music, ...) are more talked about, there is also such a thing as a positive distraction (your cute puppy wanting to be pet). I just always ask myself before a meeting: Is everyone happy for the dog to be there and are important topics about to be discussed?
Meghna Bagri
I think its totally normal to let your pets and children come in between your meetings. Because of this ongoing pandemic most of us are working from home and just interacting over a zoom or google meet. Having children or pets in between call gives a more human touch to a meeting and help in building a lasting relationship with your clients. Let me tell you a short story, I was in meeting with a clients and his children were playing around and making a little noise, then after 5 mins the client said just give me a min let me ask children to play outside and so that they won't disturb this meeting. I told him at that point that its completely okay for me even if they are playing around, because all of us are working from home and this is the new normal and they are giving a more human touch to this meeting.
Diana Costa
I have a dog and a cat, and sometimes i can't stop them from 'participate' in the meetings. As I have a small house i don't really have a place to lock them. But anyway none of my clients complained about it yet and it's good sometimes to break the ice
Karl Nislow
Anyone who voted for the first option is a monster!
Julie Fung
I think it's a great idea, as long as everyone else in the meeting is fine with it. I personally keep myself muted unless I'm speaking in case my cat is super loud and meowing for attention! My cat loves hanging around my desk and occasionally walks across my keyboard. She definitely brings a smile to the rest of the team, so yay! :)
I really like pets so cute and beautifuls