Batman, the Caped Crusader, Defender of Gotham - always turning up in times of trouble.

And today he made a surprise appearance to lift spirits… via videocall.

The Dark Knight popped up where David Gush, part of the marketing team at Vodafone, should have been.

Team leader Tanja Jujnovich said having Batman pop up unexpectedly after the recent upheaval and uncertainty was a welcome relief.

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"After a weekend of difficult news Dave knew we needed a laugh so he popped up on video conference as Batman this morning," Jujnovich said.

"We all just cracked up laughing which was the very best way to start a Monday!! Lifted us all up in an instant."

With thousands of New Zealanders working from home today, remote meetings were always going to get interesting.

Team members at Vodafone introduce their real and fake pets during a team meeting. Photo / Supplied
Team members at Vodafone introduce their real and fake pets during a team meeting. Photo / Supplied

Lounges, kitchens, bedrooms and home offices became meeting rooms via Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype.

Team members introduced their pets to colleagues, wore funny hats and there were reports of one executive in a full-length sparkly gown.

There are sure to be epic fails as well. Those external meetings when your cat jumps on the keyboard or your children barge into the room.

The home environment is a minefield for the inexperienced and the professionals alike - with children a common theme.

In 2017 the children of Professor Robert Kelly barged into the room when their dad was explaining South Korean politics - live on BBC news.

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Robert Kelly was on a live interview with the BBC when his children made an appearance.
Robert Kelly was on a live interview with the BBC when his children made an appearance.

As video conferencing becomes the new norm - and more children stay home from school - there is plenty of advice out there for new recruits to make it a seamless success.

Here are a few tips:

Set up your space: Find a private spot to make your call and make sure the background is tidy.

If you don't have time to tidy up a virtual backdrop - this way instead of a sink full of dishes you could be sitting on the beach or in space.

Don't sit too close to the camera and make sure your face is well lit - do not sit in front of a window.

Pay attention and look into the camera

Do not eat

Ensure your technology is working correctly

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Mute yourself when you are not talking

Minimise distractions and interruptions - bribe children to be quiet and tell flatmates you are working.

Get familiar with the technology you are using - you could have virtual happy hour drinks with friends to practice.

Dress appropriately - unless you are Batman.