I Worked From Vegas Without Telling My Boss. It Was Perfect — Until I Had a Surprise Zoom Call in a Casino.


When I started working remotely, I never imagined I would be taking a Zoom call from a Vegas casino while trying to make my boss think I was in my home office. But that's exactly what happened in September. I work for a nonprofit and am entirely remote, but my boss still expects me to be sitting at my computer all day. She's very strict about rules and I feel like she's judging me every time my Zoom background is something other than my home office with my plants. 

At this job, there's a strict Zoom culture and you have to make sure your icon is green to show you're available and working. When I had a doctor's appointment recently, I had to log in an hour late and let my team know - something I wouldn't have had to do at my previous job. 

I often visit family in Las Vegas, so I decided to work from there one day without telling anyone. I worked from the pool, but when I had Zoom meetings, I was careful to find a nondescript background and pretend I was at home. There were times when I was at the bar in the hotel lobby during calls, but luckily my noise-canceling AirPods Pro masked the casino sounds. 

Everything was going well until my boss added an unexpected meeting to my calendar. I was in my hotel room and had to find somewhere to Zoom from with an unassuming background. I eventually found a bar in the corner with a couch up against a wall and checked my background - it looked fine. 

I wish I'd felt comfortable enough to tell my boss where I was. It would have saved me a lot of time frantically searching for a couch in the hotel lobby. I think employers should understand that many workers can work from anywhere and if you're allowing work-from-home, it should be very flexible.

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