Our global team have a monthly townhall Zoom meeting where couple dozens of people join and our team lead(s) would gives organizational announcements and updates. Since it is a global meeting, the hours are shifted slight outside of my normal hours to accommodate other time zones. People are expected to join for the most part.

This one time the meeting got moved around and it is my fault that I didn't keep track of the day; When I found out that the meeting is going on right now it is already running half way in. I jumped on the meeting to find that people are wrapping up already. And Zoom probably showed my name to whoever is paying attention, including my manager who organized the meeting... I had a quick catchup with my coworker after the meeting on the summary of the meeting.

When I am late for a team meeting that is well past its start time, should I join anyway and have Zoom tell everyone that I'm late? Or should I just skip the meeting and find someone to catch up on the summary afterward?

  • 5
    I think that this might be something you should talk to your manager about.
    – nick012000
    Oct 21 '20 at 4:32

I don't think there is a notification (other than possibly some sound, when configured) when someone joins a Zoom meeting. There are also no logs of joins/quits (at least I can't find any in my Zoom account). Hence chances are big nobody actually noticed you weren't there, unless somebody asked about you specifically. That said, just in case it didn't go unnoticed, or simply out of courtesy, I would reach out to my boss, explain and appologize for being late, and tell I already catched up with a colleague.

Usually such meetings, while interesting, are not crucial. If they were, management would not just "move them around" like that 'cause you can't expect people to always change their schedules for that meeting. A crucial meeting also probably wouldn't last only half of the time planned for it.

On the more general topic of "what do I do when being very late for a meeting?" I would suggest going anyway, especially when you can arrive silently without disturbing the meeting. This is also true in the case of a smaller group meeting, where your absence will probably get noticed. It happened to me on several occasions for different reasons, and whatever the reason, people were usually happy that I joined so that I could answer some questions left pending because of my absence => Impact was not as bad as not going at all.

Long story short, don't care too much for this one, but try to be more careful in the future, because you probably don't want a reputation of always being late to meetings.

  • Thanks for the answer and advice Laurent. Just some more info on zoom: Our company had set up zoom account for each of the employee, maybe this is a more premium feature but we are able to view who joined and left the meeting under our account in a tab called Report. I think it depends on the config of the meeting, when someone joins our meeting, zoom will show "xyz joined" with a ping.
    – zforest20
    Oct 21 '20 at 16:45
  • The default Zoom configuration is indeed a loud chime that everyone can hear when anyone joins. Oct 24 '20 at 4:10
  • @zforest > you're right, I just looked at my own zoom pro account and indeed there's a way to report on that. I wouldn't expect anyone to really follow that for a casual meeting but indeed this is some trace of you joining late...
    – Laurent S.
    Oct 26 '20 at 14:57

should I join anyway

Yes. Sneaking late into a zoom meeting is not disruptive in any way and you still might get to listen to the tail end of the meeting. Especially if it's a larger zoom meeting where you are exepcted to listen but not to talk or actively participate to a significant amount.

and have Zoom tell everyone that I'm late

There is no need to pull attenttion to this. People come and go on active Zoo meetings all the time. If it's smallish meeting (4 or so people) you can announce and apologize, for a larger meeting just come and go quietly. You can also put out a quick text message on the zoom chat ("Sorry, I'm late", "Sorry I have to drop off")

If it's an important meeting, you can also send a quick note of apolpogy to the meeting organizer after the meeting: "Sorry, I was late because of xxx"

  • Agreed. Also, entering a Zoom meeting late is much less disruptive than entering a room late. It's also harder for people to murmur about your entrance since generally they either have to unmute and talk over the speaker, or write it in chat. Oct 24 '20 at 4:14

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