Who here is reading this piece on their laptop from home during work hours? No judgment. This is just a simple illustration that points out the fact that the #workfromhomelife is likely going nowhere fast.
Even as COVID-19 vaccines continue to expand across the nation, the likelihood of a return to normal might not be for months, possibly years. So while we all get more comfortable operating in a virtual environment, you might want to consider upping your “Zoom background game” in 2021.
As we all quickly realized last March, Zoom (and its ilk) is an amazing video conferencing tool that allows users to virtually meet no matter where they’re located. But what accompanies it is a window into your home that you might not want your co-workers to see. Some have bought better lighting to appear less like a sickly ghost on Zoom, while others have opted for taller desks to avoid the dreaded nostril shot. But even with those changes, the fact remains that merely changing your own appearance won’t dress up the look of your house.
So what are you to do? We’re glad you asked. In this guide, we’ll look at home office background ideas to always be “Zoom ready.”
Opt for a Virtual Background
Zoom seems to understand the predicament many, many people are in. That’s why the company offers virtual backgrounds. Fake scenarios from exotic locals to sports teams, you can find seemingly any scene in their huge collection. On one hand, adding a Zoom background shows your colleagues your playful personality, but consider that in some instances, it might not set the right tone. Oh sure, it will hide the dirty laundry you have sitting behind you, but does it really scream “I’m a professional?”
If not, try...
Perk It Up With Paint
You would be amazed by how much a coat of paint can change a room. If your office looks washed out or gloomy, try a coat of blue. Want to really perk things up? Consider a shade of yellow. Positive colors can change your whole perspective and in turn how your office mates think of you. Plus, the cost of a gallon of paint isn’t cost-prohibitive so if you end up not liking your first option, you won’t break the bank choosing another hue.
Find a Bookshelf
A bare wall does not an exciting background make. So instead, pick up your computer and move to a space in your house that has some books or built-in shelves with pictures and art. This shift will add intrigue to any meeting and could be a helpful ice breaker for discussions with new clients or coworkers.
Hang Some Paintings
Dress up your space. There’s a reason why people bemoan cubicles, it’s because their utilitarian look feels so sad. That’s why so many people decorate their cubes and you can apply this same mindset to your home office.
Maybe it’s time to move some pieces of art you have hanging in other rooms or you can invest in some new pieces. Local galleries are always happy to meet new potential customers or, if that is out of your price range, shop online. Museums have tons of great prints by some of the best artists in the world that you can afford. Add a sharp-looking frame and you have a great new work of art to add to your space.
Decrease the Clutter
Sometimes adding decorative items isn't the issue. It’s more about editing. Take a hard look around your workspace then ask yourself, does this look nice or just messy. If your answer leans at all to the latter, it’s time to tidy up. That could be as simple as removing stacks of papers from a corner or putting a printer on an actual table. Or it could be more about reorganizing your furnishings.
Don’t want to look like a ghost on Zoom anymore? Time to fix your lighting. Backlighting — that is light that shines behind you — can cast shadows on the screen and make you look pale and washed out. Not a good look.
Invest in some quality lighting like a great central light fixture or new lamp that makes you glow not grimace.
Add a New Rug
Don’t think for a second that your coworkers aren’t checking out every detail of your space (you’re doing the same, right?). That includes your rug, and if you’re sitting on a dingy old area rug, it has got to go. Invest in a fresh look by checking out Luxe Weavers. With hundreds of designs in every conceivable color, this is where to find a great new textile.
The ultimate destination for affordable modern, Oriental, and patterned rugs, you can find something perfect for your work from home space that will look great on Zoom. To see all the options, visit luxeweavers.com.