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When people work at home, participating in Zoom meetings or other teleconferences is the new reality. To make the work area look more professional and office-like, adding home office backgrounds may be necessary. You can select virtual backgrounds, stage the room, or add a vinyl backdrop.

Working from home has created a whole new set of things to consider as people put together home offices and workspaces. 

Although remote work does not have to include others, you invite others into your home workspace as soon as you begin taking part in remote meetings. Your home office background should reflect the image you want to convey.

Keeping the environment professional sends a positive message about your competence. As you work to create an inviting, comfortable, functional workspace that portrays the image you are hoping for during Zoom meetings, there are many things to consider.

Is There A Good Way To Make Your Office Look Inviting?

When designing your workspace, take your background into consideration. Whether your home office is in your dining room or a spare bedroom, you want to convey a professional meeting environment.

Popular choices for backgrounds vary from a brick wall to a gallery wall to plain white walls. While there is no clear right or wrong choice, consider the clientele you will work with.

Ensuring that your wall decor is balanced with the space is essential when staging your space for a virtual meeting. A busy, cluttered background could tell prospective clients you are disorganized or don’t have everything together.

While your personal life does not necessarily reflect your work life persona, that may not matter to clients. In the business world, less is often more.

Greenery background

What Is The Best Way To Design A Home Office?

Creating a dedicated workspace will work to your advantage. Even if you may be dealing with a small space, do your best to make a positive, workable environment for remote work. Think about function first, then aesthetics.

Things you may want:

  • Chair: Choose a comfortable chair you won’t mind sitting in for a while each day.
  • Computer: Decide if you want a laptop or desktop, one screen or two.
  • Desk: An office desk does have some benefits over a table or counter. Ergonomically, it is more comfortable. Also, consider how much workspace you need.
  • Headset: Especially if you share the space with someone else, headphones or a headset can be helpful. It makes it easier for you to hear, as well as block out ambient noise.
  • Light: Natural light can be excellent for video conferences. However, too much sunlight can make it difficult to see. Again, it’s all about balance.
  • Microphone: Some people prefer an add-on microphone for video conferencing.
  • Webcam: Although some computers have a built-in webcam, you may want a higher quality one if you do many virtual meetings.

How To Make Your Background Look Professional

Once you have a workable home office set up for yourself, your concern should be how others see you as you participate in virtual calls. 

Even if you attempt to distort the background or not turn on the video, it is likely that you will occasionally appear for all the world to see. You can either keep your office organized or employ a backdrop.

Here are some options:

  • Neutralize: If you want your work-from-home office space to look more like an office and less like your living room, one tactic is to neutralize the area. A minimalist appearance may include changing the interior design in small ways. Removing personal items from a bookcase, taking down family pictures, and having a plain, painted wall behind you are days to neutralize the environment.
  • Staging: Staging is the simple act of intentionally setting up your home decor, so your dedicated home office space appears more professional. It might include office decor instead of personal items or placing a bookshelf behind where you will do video conferencing. Just remember not to have your backdrop be overpowering or too busy looking.
  • Backdrop: One option you can implement to create a professional virtual meeting environment is a backdrop. This can be as simple as a screen pulled down to hide personal items you want to be removed from the background.
  • Green Screen: You can also use a green screen to neutralize a background so that you can add images or video to your Zoom call. You can add a virtual backdrop with many video call programs.

How Do You Set Up Zoom Background In Home Office?

When deciding to set up a background for your next Zoom meeting, you should have a green screen for the best results.

  • Open the Zoom app and log into your account.
  • In the right-hand corner, click the gear icon to navigate to Settings.
  • Click Virtual Background in the left menu.
  • Select a Zoom default background image (or click on the + icon to upload your own photo).

Adding A Purchased Backdrop

Looking to add a backdrop that you have purchased? You can add actual materials to the space or a virtual backdrop you purchased as virtual background images. Most backdrops can be used for photos too.

Adding tangible items to your space can be anything from a bookshelf to greenery that you put behind you. You can also purchase digital office backdrops to add to your office zoom background files.

Becch home office background

Choosing the right virtual background for a meeting can be tricky because you want something professional but not cold. It is okay to capture some of your unique personality in what you choose, but you don’t want anything too crazy. It is all about balance.

Many backdrops on Amazon cost less than $20, so you can appear to be calling from a sleek modern office in Manhattan, a beach in Tahiti, or an uncluttered space with books or art in the background.

Staging With Paint Or Decor

If you want to have your actual surroundings as the backdrop, you can stage your workspace in some fairly simple ways.

  • Color: If your background is too bland, you can dress things up with a pop of color. Just remember that you don’t want something too bright or overly busy.
  • Paint: Simply painting a wall in a solid color can help quiet the background.
  • Wall Art: It is okay to have some art on the wall. You want to avoid anything too big or loud in the background. When holding a virtual meeting, you want what you say or present to be the main focus. Not the things in the background.

What Is The Best Background For Your Home Office?

The best background depends on the type of work you do and the clients you will be working with. If you are doing publishing work, having bookshelves filled with books in the background makes sense. The same is true for a college professor working remotely.

Someone working for an art gallery could have interesting pieces of art in the background that might be too busy for someone in another line of work.

Art background

The same is true for choosing virtual zoom backgrounds. Even though the background is staid, fun, or trendy, it still needs to be work-appropriate for you.

Consider the line of work you are in and what the standards of expectation are as you make your choices.

Pam Berg

A former English teacher and currently an elementary principal in a rural school, Pam entered the world of working remotely about four years ago. Also an avid runner, she was approached by a digital company to write articles related to fitness and exercise. This launched a part-time job of writing on a variety of different topics. Pam enjoys the flexibility of working from home on a per diem basis when her schedule allows.

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