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Best Background Colors for Video Conferencing in 2022


Best Background Colors for Video Conferencing in 2022



Nearly three years into zooming around the globe without ever leaving your chair may have you feeling stuck in a box and ready for a change. In a recent survey, 21% of respondents logged 5-10 hours a week in meetings, with 22% spending 10-20 hours.

Chances are, your week is full of meetings with co-workers, bosses, industry peers, networking groups and even potential employers. Given how prevalent virtual interactions have become, it’s worth taking a moment to think about what you put on display during video conferencing calls and meetings. 

What is your background communicating? From color to clutter, It may be time for a refresh.


The Best Backgrounds and Colors for Video Conferencing


Like it or not, your background says something about you. As humans, we create stories and form perceptions based on clues in your environment. 


Why is the video background important on video conferencing calls? 

Your background can affect other viewers’ impressions of you. Is it clean or messy? Casual or professional? Visually distracting or bland?

Your background can signal that you are an effective professional focused on the task at hand. It can tell viewers that you are creative and innovative. Or you could appear distracted, with constant interruptions giving the impression that work may not be your top priority.


How can you make your background look professional?

Like it or not, video conferencing gives others a glimpse into your home and life. This can be fraught with peril, or you can take control over the image you project and how others see you. 

Consider how your background can: 

  • Emphasize your professionalism and competence - a clean and uncluttered space sets the stage for minimal distractions and shows that you are focused and prepared. 
  • Help viewers respond to you - the right space can reinforce your persona and the value you bring. Is it warm and welcoming, minimalist and austere, generic or overly personal? 
  • Reveal (just enough) about yourself - although individual touches are important to keep a space from being antiseptic, you don’t need viewers to learn too much about you. Save that for the people you invite over in real life.


Which is better? Home office background or virtual background?

If you can create or find a space with a pleasing or neutral background, that’s generally your best option. A static background keeps the focus on you and what you’re saying. 

But if you need to mask your surroundings or just want a change of scene, virtual backgrounds can be your best friend. 

  • Virtual backgrounds let you keep your private life private, and can be a great option if you are working from a shared space. 
  • Choose a virtual background that reinforces how you want to be perceived. Solid colors or streamlined settings are a good choice for work-related calls. 
  • Pay attention to how your virtual background contrasts with or complements your hair and skin color and what you are wearing. Aim for more contrast so you don’t wind up blending into the scenery. 
  • And finally, save those fun beach or intergalactic backgrounds for personal or social gatherings, so they don’t signal that you’re not taking the call seriously. 

Just remember that any movement can create gaps between you and the background, causing parts of you to disappear and reappear – and that can be distracting.


 To blur or not to blur?

Often seen as the happy medium between real and virtual, blurring lets you use your actual environment but soften the details. On the plus side, it keeps you front and center, and can be a savior when you need to join a meeting at short notice (with no time to tidy up). In the minus column, there are reports that a blurred background can result in eye fatigue, headaches and even migraines. So consider saving the blur for shorter meetings or clutter catastrophes. 


What is the best wall color for video conferencing?

The right color can put you center stage. 

Colors are powerful communicators. Like it or not, they affect our mood and behavior and elicit emotions. Color can help reinforce the message you want to convey. 

Since reactions to color are very personal and can be influenced by culture or symbolism. Consider white, which is used for weddings in Western countries but symbolizes mourning in Eastern countries. On the other hand, red indicates prosperity, luck and happiness in many Asian cultures but is often a signal of danger or warning in other cultures. 

Your best choice is to pick a background that is complementary and easy on the eye. 


What are the best background colors for video conferencing? 

Given the abundance of options, it can be hard to choose. 

  • Neutrals, whites, off-whites, and light grays are popular choices for good reason. They reflect light, helping you stay visible, and are easy on the eye. By providing a flexible background for artwork, books and decorative objects, these colors give you the freedom to refresh your decor without repainting your walls. 
  • Cool colors create a calm visual field for viewers. Blues and purples, particularly those with gray undertones, are serene and soothing. Greens and brighter tones of blue or purple are more energizing. With strong ties to nature (forests, oceans), these colors have wide appeal. 
  • Be cautious with yellows and oranges as these warm colors are stimulating and can evoke a wide range of emotional responses. They signal creativity or high energy, but are best used sparingly. 

Depending on your situation, you can either paint an actual wall or choose a virtual background. 


How to create the perfect home office backdrop for videos

If you are going for the real thing, use a matte finish to reduce reflectivity and glare. For color, consider these. 

  • Behr: blues (Nocturn Blue or Half Sea Fog); greens (Royal Orchard or Zen); or neutrals (Sandstone Cove, Blank Canvas or Masterpiece). 
  • Benjamin Moore: blues (Blue Danube or Woodlawn Blue); greens (Guilford Green or High Park); or the classic Simply White.
  • Glidden: Deep or icy blues (Deep Arctic Night Blue or Peregrine); pale pinks (Heirloom Pink or Almost Pink; or silvers (Silver Charm or Silver Streak).
  • Sherwin-Williams: Blue Note; greens (Sea Salt, Clary Sage or Retreat); neutrals (Creamy or Dove Wing); or Repose Gray.

The links to each firm’s visualization tools will let you preview the color in your space. 


How to pick the perfect virtual background for video conferencing?

If you’re staying in the virtual world, try these options

  • Canva has a tutorial and free virtual background maker that integrates easily with Zoom and allows you to add your brand colors. Their templates are easily customizable, even for non-designers.
  • Unsplash provides many free and reasonably convincing home office backgrounds. (Be kind and credit the designer or photographer as you use their work.) 
  • You can choose from collections of virtual home backgrounds from well-known design companies such as West Elm, IKEA, or Crate and Barrel. 


The best background for a virtual interview

All the tips above apply here, too. But be extra sure to eliminate distractions, and prepare in advance. Turn your camera on to check lighting, confirm you are fully in the frame and see what’s behind you.

Ensure you don’t blend into your surroundings. If you’re using a virtual background, cover your chair with a towel to keep it from becoming visible.

Finally, try to look at the camera (not the other person on the screen) when you are speaking. Smile, look interested and keep interruptions and gestures to a minimum. Putting a list of key points you want to make behind your camera can help you if you get nervous. 

Up your video background game


Of course, the best case would be having the flexibility to change things up without changing your background at the start of each video conference or physically moving your set-up to another location. According to Gartner, almost 50% of employees will continue to work remotely. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re one of them.

Good news. Now it’s possible to create a virtual work environment that works for you. Meet Kumospace

We take a different approach to virtual interactions. You can create and customize a virtual space to meet your needs. Different rooms can have different backgrounds, depending on whether you are using them for a social meet-up, a networking coffee, an interview, a board meeting, or a presentation. When you meet in Kumospace, your own background becomes secondary to the background of the virtual world you’ve created for your meetings. Interactions with other people feel more normal, too. 

Kumospace gets you out of the box and into a more real world environment, creating a shared space where you can more fully engage with your coworkers, peers, employers, industry partners and friends. It’s free to sign up, so come visit us and explore! 

Beth Mead
Beth is an expert content creator and marketing strategist with over 25 years’ experience. She writes about a wide range of topics for both B2B and B2C audiences including writing for the world’s largest financial institutions. When she isn’t writing, Beth enjoys traveling and being on, in or near the ocean.
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