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.
Like it or not, your background says something about you. As humans, we create stories and form perceptions based on clues in your environment.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Given the abundance of options, it can be hard to choose.
Depending on your situation, you can either paint an actual wall or choose a virtual background.
If you are going for the real thing, use a matte finish to reduce reflectivity and glare. For color, consider these.
The links to each firm’s visualization tools will let you preview the color in your space.
If you’re staying in the virtual world, try these options
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.
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!