How to Hide your Active Status
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Many of you are using Microsoft Teams, which will show your employers whether you are online or not. Many managers insist that you are online at all times during the workday. This isn’t ideal if you’re trying to be a sly fox and do other things on the side, such as a side business or second job.
This online status is arbitrary–you can open up a Notepad++ document, put a stapler on your spacebar, and it’ll continue to show that you are active as your document is filled with blanks. However, this method may not work for some, so I want to share a few different ones that may be useful on platforms other than Microsoft Teams.
Method 1: Mouse Jiggler (Best)
Get a mouse and a mouse jiggler. Any mouse jiggler from Amazon should be fine. Do not use a trackball mouse because mouse jigglers work by rotating the bottom of a mouse.
Your mouse jiggler should either be a rotating platform that moves your pointer in a circle, or something that moves the bottom of your mouse to ensure that it remains active.
DO NOT plug your mouse jiggler into your work laptop. It should be wired to an outlet. Some laptops may report what you are plugging in to your work laptop, so you may face some uncomfortable questions about why you are using a mouse jiggler.
It’s fine to connect an external mouse to your work laptop, though, if you don’t want/have a bluetooth mouse.
Method 2: Android
Get an Android device
Turn Developer Mode on
Change the setting to “stay awake”
Install the Microsoft Teams app on your phone and log in
Open Microsoft Teams and keep your phone plugged in, charging
This will not work on iOS because iPhones have a security measure that disables the “Always On” screen feature when you log-in to company emails or communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams.
Note: This method only works if you do not leave your desk. You need to be able to respond to messages right away, so if you are using your plugged-in phone to keep your active status on, you won’t be able to respond.
Obviously, if you’re doing a short trip, there shouldn’t be a problem if your battery is full, because your phone’s battery will last for the duration of your trip.
Likewise, if you’re using the restroom, I doubt a manager will be upset with a 1-minute delay before you respond.
Method 3: Call Yourself
Works on Microsoft Teams.
Make a new event in your calendar called “Focus Time” and invite yourself as a required participant
Join the call created by the event
Minimize the call so it’s not obstructing your view
Change your status from “On A Call” to “Available”
Note that if you leave your status to “on a call,” your manager may ask who you’re on a call with. If you make a calendar event that is too long, they can see your calendar availability. If you don’t have any available blocks, it’ll raise a red flag.
Other Methods (Not Recommended)
Using a script. Work laptops can detect scripts.
Using an app. Work laptops can detect what you’ve installed.
Using a Chrome extension. Work laptops report your browser history and will likely know what you’ve installed.
Keeping a bluetooth mouse in your pocket.
You may be asking: the probability of getting caught with these methods is so low–maybe just a 1% chance. But why not reduce the risk to 0% with the other methods?
I highly suggest experimenting with these methods to find which works best for you. Have your active status available on your screen, then try one of these. If your status remains active over long periods of time, then you know it works on the specific platform that you’re using.
You’re screwed if your manager can remotely access your work computer. However, as long as you are delivering your tasks on-time, you should be fine.
Reminder, this advice isn’t an excuse to be incompetent, it’s for you to be hyper-efficient. You need to use this extra time to build a business or find a second job.
Leave your questions or requests below!
Disclaimer: This is satire. None of this is financial, legal, or health advice. This was written by an anonymous cartoon for entertainment purposes only.