How to enjoy March Madness without your boss finding out

We can’t get enough of March Madness, with basketball mania taking over our schedules for the next few weeks. But why should you miss out on all the fun, just because you have a ‘virtual meeting’ with work? 

Luckily, we’ve created the virtual call escape, a crafty product designed to strategically place a picture of you in front of your computer’s camera, so that it appears as though you’re present and correct for the duration of your boring meeting. To be in with a chance of winning the virtual call escape, and enjoying March Madness in its entirety, simply enter your details in the form below: 

Alternatively, we outlined three more top tactics for escaping your Zoom commitments, making it easier than ever to watch the entertainment unfold without your boss ever finding out.

Create a looping Zoom background

To start off with, we’ll introduce you to the most intricate, yet most rewarding, of our three schemes: creating a looping video background. With a repeating recording of yourself ready to engage in your place after the opening pleasantries, you can audaciously slope off to enjoy March Madness. This one requires a little prior preparation, but, if applied correctly, you’ll reap the benefits of an uninterrupted session in front of the game.

How to record your video on Zoom

  1. Load Zoom prior to your meeting and open your profile settings tab.
  2. Navigate to the recording area. From here, make sure 3rd party editing is enabled and take note of where the recording will be saved on your computer. Confirm.
  3. Exit this area and click new meeting. Position yourself as you would any other meeting and press record at the bottom of your screen. 
  4. Let your screen record for 5-10 seconds, ensuring you don’t make any sudden movements (you might think an aggressive head nod will stand you in good stead, but it will look odd and suspicious after a few loops). When you’re happy, click stop recording. Your video is now ready to use.
  5. Once your meeting begins, open the backgrounds and filters tab and click the option that allows you to add a new background. Choose to add a video and find the clip you have just recorded. You can engage in the hellos and how are yous before loading your looping background.

Key considerations to make

Because this is a relatively complicated ploy, it’s important to take all necessary precautions while recording your looping background video:

  • Make sure you’re wearing the same clothes as during your virtual meeting. This applies to accessories and hairstyles, too.
  • It’s important that your recording isn’t done too early, as any change in natural light could be a giveaway. 
  • We’ve touched on why you should try and make your movements subtle, but also check your looping clip for any irregularities that could unsettle your boss. This could include a wandering pet or fluttering curtain.

This tactic is particularly useful if your virtual meeting involves several teams, with tens of attendees, rather than just a handful of co-workers. Our advice in instances of the latter would be to take up one of our other equally effective methods of workplace deception.

Watch the game from your computer

One of the simplest ways of appearing apparently focused during a big game is to simply load the stream through your computer. This avoids having to conjure a duplicate of yourself as in the previous tip. 

Log into your sports streaming account and line up the game, making sure to keep the open tab towards the top of your screen so that it aligns nicely with your camera. Et voila, you can watch the game without even leaving your office.

The clear benefit to this approach is that you’ll never look more engaged than during the excitement of March Madness; your manager will infer your interest as keen enthusiasm for the meeting’s discussion point, craftily earning you a place in their good books. 

This cheeky maneuver, though, does come with some compromise. Notably, you’ll have to ensure your stream is on mute, as any sporting sounds will certainly give the game away. Similarly, you’ll have to internalize any celebratory emotions, or risk advertising your inattentiveness. If you feel this might be a little too difficult, we advise you take up our next trick!

Fake a convenient connection malfunction

Our final ruse is the failsafe route of feigning a failing internet connection. In eager spirits, begin the call by highlighting just how beneficial you find these virtual meetings during the testing, antisocial climate: ‘It’s just great seeing everyone’s faces, even if it is just over video call!’

But then, your preorganized tragedy strikes. You frustratedly flail as you exclaim how your connection keeps freezing. Apologizing profusely, you ignore your reassuring colleagues and decide the clear course of action should be to turn off your camera, in the hope that it sures up your connection. Making your audio presence clear, your co-workers will confirm they can hear you. And scene. 

You’re off the hook for video conferences for the foreseeable future, on account of weak internet. For bonus points, email your boss after the meeting, apologizing for the embarrassment and promising to get your provider round as soon as it’s safe, by which time you’ll have enjoyed March Madness to its extent and life can resume as normal.

Whichever way you decide to enjoy March Madness, discover the latest team news ahead of play and take a look at our latest predictions to see how we value your side.