These terrifying hidden Zoom features will change how you act in work meetings

woman cringing on laptop
Bitching about your colleagues? You might want to stop doing that. Photo credit: Getty.

Slack, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts... with the country in COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, these are the mediums through which many of us are now communicating with our colleagues. 

By now you've probably learnt the basics of video chat decorum: turn off your mic while eating lunch, keep formally dressed from the waist up, and don't take your computer into the toilet like this poor US student. 

But it turns out there are a whole host of sneaky Zoom features which might actually change how you act in meetings. 

If you've never heard of a feature called 'Attendee attention tracking', you're going to want to know about it. If you're screen sharing, the host - often, your boss - gets notified if you go to a different window for more than 30 seconds. 

"Hosts can see an indicator in the participant panel of a meeting or webinar if an attendee does not have Zoom Desktop Client or Mobile App in focus for more than 30 seconds while someone is sharing a screen," the Zoom site reads.

"'In focus' means the user has the Zoom meeting view open and active. "

So you're probably going to want to stop online shopping or scrolling Facebook during meetings. 

If that's not scary enough, another Twitter user pointed out an even more terrifying feature

"FYI: if you're having a committee meeting via Zoom and you use the chat function to privately write to someone, your colleagues may not see it in real-time, but it shows up when the chat is downloaded and put in the minutes' folder," H J Haldine wrote. 

This news was backed up by fellow user Adrian Graham who wrote: "Yes! The chat saves all the public conversation, and the private chats of the person who saved it (but not other private conversations)."

People took to the replies to share their reactions to this news, through GIF form. 

We would recommend saving bitching about your colleagues until after your meeting, just in case.