Zoom’s New Attendance Tool Will Snitch on Attendees Who Are Late to a Meeting

Zoom’s New Attendance Tool Will Snitch on Attendees Who Are Late to a Meeting
Photo: Pool, Getty Images

Zoom is adding in a new feature that may make it more difficult for you to casually coast your way into a meeting without your boss noticing. The new “Attendance Status” tool, first spotted by TechRadar, allows Zoom hosts and co-hosts to use calendar integration from Google and Microsoft to easily see whether or not invited participants joined the meeting on time.

According to Zoom’s support page, meeting participants who have been invited but who have not joined will be siloed into a “Not Joined” section where their names will appear alongside other lazy deplorables. Host and co-hosts of the meeting can also see if those no-shows had the decency to click the “Accepted,” “Declined,” “Maybe,” or “No” selections on their calendar response. If a user happens to mistakenly load into a Zoom meeting with an account other than the one they originally used to accept the invitation, Zoom says they will appear as both “Not Joined” and “Joined” leading to what I can only imagine will be a sudden tsunami of “accidental” out of network joins.

In order to view a participant’s status, Zoom said hosts will need to have calendar integration with Google Calendar or Outlook calendar enabled and configured. Attendance Status is currently in beta.

Aside from its obvious application for calling out late employees, the new meeting monitoring tool may also be used by teachers and professors who have been forced to turn to Zoom to conduct remote classes. With some large lecturers easily bringing together 100 plus students, the attendance feature could make it much easier for administrators to confirm whether or not their students ever actually showed up. Despite its supposed utility though, the feature may rub some students the wrong way, especially given how they’ve been subjected to historic levels of surveillance and remote monitoring during the pandemic.

But never fear fellow chronically late arrivers, there’s a potential way out thanks to a soundboard created by digital artist Sam Lavigne. Called Zoom Escaper, the tool is designed to manipulate your audio to make you sound so annoying that a Zoom host will have no choice but to remove you. So next time you join a little late and your boss uses that as an excuse to vent their rage, just slap on some echo, construction noise, or the chilling sounds of a man violently weeping in the background and simply sit back and wait for them to remove you before you ever have to come clean about your tardiness.