By Brad Foster

A survey by online finance information platform has revealed almost one quarter of Australians participating in online video meetings have made or seen embarrassing or unprofessional behaviour.

But far from being a negative, more than half say the video meetings have helped them to get to know their colleagues better.

More than 1000 respondents were presented with 10 potentially embarrassing incidents, mishaps, or unprofessional behaviour that they may have encountered during remote video meetings, and were asked to select any which they experienced.

Forty-two (42) per cent said they have heard kids in the background, 31 per cent saw a participant eating or drinking and 27 per cent saw participants doing non-work-related tasks during a meeting. An equal 26 per cent had the meeting disrupted by a participant’s family member, or a participant not able to use the technology properly, and 21 per cent saw others in the meeting use their PC or phone.

The 12 most unusual video meeting ‘bloopers’ Aussie workers have seen:

  1. Being on mute for the entire duration of the call – even when speaking
  2. An employee forgetting to put their microphone on mute when yelling at their kids to be quiet
  3. A colleague’s wife interrupting their video meeting because she needed him to open a pickle jar
  4. Hearing the toilet of a colleague flush (cited by several employees)
  5. A pet seats themselves on their owner’s lap, or walks into the room and starts making noise, interrupting the meeting (cited by employees at least 20 times)
  6. An employee picking their nose when they thought their camera was off (cited at least six times)
  7. An employee breaking wind when they thought they were on mute (cited by several employees)
  8. Someone’s colleague thought his video camera was turned off, and he completely left the meeting to grab lunch and didn’t return
  9. Wearing pyjama pants and standing up during a video call
  10. A colleague’s elderly father wandering past in the background in his underpants – and another colleague’s husband doing the same thing, but in a towel
  11. A colleague’s young daughter interrupting the video meeting to show everyone on the meeting her drawing
  12. An employee reported having an UBER Eats delivery arrive, while they were presenting to an audience of 60 people on Skype.