Although we are not quite as restricted in our movements as we were a few months ago, COVID-19 has not gone away and the general advice – and in some places mandate – is that those who can still feasibly work from home should do just that for the foreseeable future.

Many of us have become very familiar with video conferencing apps when working from home – many of us for the first time – this year. I certainly have, as virtual home staging and virtual home organization sessions are becoming commonplace for me.

Even if you were versed in the basics of making use of apps like Zoom and Google Meet to communicate as you may now be doing so on a daily basis – and will be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future – then for many a concern about how their home (office) appears on camera has them sailing into the uncharted territory of home staging and home design for Zoom!

From getting the lighting right to showcasing your style while still maintaining your privacy here are some tips to help you present your space – and yourself – in the best possible light every time you hop onto a video call.

Showcasing Your Style on Zoom Without Giving Up Your Privacy

Back at the office you could probably add a few items to your office or desk area to express your personal style, but no doubt the space was limited and the decor options limited. Your new home office is a different matter, and most of us do want to showcase a little of our style without opening up our homes too much when participating in Zoom calls.

The immediate backdrop you set up for these calls should never be too busy or distracting. The point of apps like Zoom is to replicate, as closely as possible, an in person meeting, the kind you used to have in a conference room. So in terms of decor think neutrals and subtle colors, as the focus is supposed to be on you, not the ‘stuff’ behind you.

One design option I love is making use of any books you have collected over time and using them – and a suitable bookcase or bookshelf – to showcase your style in an effective but subtle way. Remove busy dust jackets and incorporate the colorful book spines in your design for an understated, yet visually pleasing background. Neatly stack the books by color, alphabetical order or genre for an even more pleasing effect.

You may also have a number of family photos in your new office space. You don’t have to hide them, and they can offer a look into your life that is not too intrusive but maintains a connection with the coworkers you no longer really see in person.

It’s a trick that the likes of Queen Elizabeth have been using for years. The monarch is always surrounded by family photos during her annual Christmas address, and they usually reflect what has been going on in her year.

According to experts, in the absence of gatherings around the coffee station or water cooler – things we used to have that are out of bounds at the moment – it’s important to find ways to stay personally connected to the team you work with so that you don’t become strangers and can still execute the kind of great teamwork you did before the pandemic hit. Telling stories with photos in the background – without saying a word – is a great way of doing that.

Getting Your Lighting Right

No, your home office isn’t a movie set, but for video calls and video conferencing it is still important that you get your lighting right. Adequate lighting is important but so is color temperature. A mix of warm and cool lighting can throw your video out of whack.

Got some natural light in the room? Your camera will actually display that with a different color temperature than your light fixtures. If you’re getting some funky mixes of warm and cool colors going on, this could be the reason. And as fun as some psychedelic color combos might sound they are probably not appropriate for a work call.

I love using a ring light to make sure I look my best on conference calls and during virtual consultations. They are easy to use and reasonably inexpensive to purchase too.

Go for a relatively small and easily portable one, not only so that it will fit unobtrusively on your desk but also so that you can use it other places, like in the bathroom when you are getting ready for the call, as you can use it to mimic the light your camera is going to show you in, which may be very different from the standard light illuminating your regular bathroom mirror.

Go Green

Boosting your mood, increasing productivity, adding color, and purifying the air, indoor plants are important on and off your video call. Often incorporated into high-end interior design, and known to release “upward energy movement” in Feng Shui principles, plants are an element of design that is more than just pretty to look at.

Vibrant color, great lighting, and plants often do wonders for interiors, and in the time of constant video conferencing, those features can be helpful shortcuts for creating an impressive virtual interior to share with the world.

Seating and Computer Height : Get Creative

Have you ever seen someone take a selfie with the camera pointed down at them? It might look weird, but there’s a good reason for the technique. If you feel like you’re looking a little goofy on your video call, it could be how you’re sitting and where your computer is positioned. Having your camera at eye level and positioned far enough away, is key for creating the perfect video conference call and eliminating an unwanted double chin.

TIP: Take a look at this photo of Prince Charles. Notice how he has boxes and books stacked to bring his device to eye-level? Raising your device can help create a more personal experience, allowing your team to see you in a more realistic setting.

zoom call

Although I appreciate Prince Charles’ effort, one or two more books on that stack would have done the trick a little better. The good news is that nobody sees what’s behind your camera. Stack up books, Amazon boxes, or even a shoebox! Anything to create a stable, even surface that’s safe for your device.

Need help with home office staging, home staging to sell your home or any other aspect of home styling? If an in person Houston area consultation is not for you right now Just Organized by Taya offers virtual consultations anywhere in the world via Zoom or another video conferencing platform. Book an appointment here or contact us to discuss a personalized session and what we can do for you, either in person or at a distance.

 

 

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