Darkly funny short film spoofs never-ending Zoom meetings

The new work-from-home flexibility that has transformed so many office jobs over the past 18 months comes with plenty of convenient benefits. The flip side of that coin is when working from home translates into always being at the office.

A new short film explores what that could mean for the holidays if you’re unable to separate the personal from the professional under your own roof.

Wonderhood Studios, a U.K.-based agency, has a new short film that explores the terrifying extremes of being unable to unplug from work over the holidays. A perfectly normal family Christmas break is thrown into chaos when Dad gets stuck in a never-ending video meeting.

Horror movies have long been seen as a metaphor for or reflection of broader societal fears and anxiety. Here, we get a meditation on what happens when there is no separation between work and home. At first it’s cute, the family gamely tries to keep Dad involved in the festivities. But the laptop sitting on the kitchen counter during the holiday party isn’t quite the same. It taps into our deeply ingrained ideas around productivity, and an always-on mindset. It also starkly illustrates the difference between being there and being present. It’s a notion we need to be constantly reminded of, and one that brings to mind Common Sense Media’s 2017 campaign that cast Will Ferrell as a digitally absentee dad.

So use this as a reminder: Later this month, take at least a few days off—like, really, really off. Just to be sure.