tips for improving work from home background for video conferences

How to Improve Your Work From Home Background on a Budget

In this guest post, Johnny Ching, Direct Marketplace CEO, shares how to level up your work from home background so it adds to your professional image during video conferences.

Online work meetings are the new norm when communicating with your team members. These video calls can help workers connect, no matter the distance that separates them. If you’re working from home, you’ve probably been asked to turn your camera on for everyone to see your face during online brainstorming sessions, meetings, or even team engagement activities. 

While it’s always great to see the background images people choose, such as a simple sea of white, green screen-type, and even a wall of photos behind them, a real-life workspace background can do wonders for your meetings and productivity. If you want to elevate your work from home space for your online meetings, here are some budget-friendly ways you can enhance it. 

12 Ways to Improve Your Work From Home Background on a Budget

1. Use Backdrops

Use backdrops like curtains, types of vinyl, or bedsheets to help create the illusion that you’re in a studio or a well-lit and spacious office space. Make sure to create a backdrop that you can store and whip out easily. 

2. Use Surrounding Scenic Areas

Get creative with what you already have around you. If you live in an apartment building where you don’t have access to tools, use what you have on hand instead, such as your community garden area, swimming pool area, or the lounge. 

3. Search Your Neighborhood for Antique Goods

Visit your neighborhood thrift store. You’ll find some real gems, such as an old record player or a typewriter, which are great décor and conversation starters during online meetings. Moreover, it adds to your character or how you want others to perceive you. 

4. Display Photos of Your Family or Friends

One thing that makes a home office special is having photos around the house of people you love or places you’ve been together. If you want your workspace to feel homey, try hanging up your favorite pictures against the wall where they can make a cameo in your online video calls. 

Whether they’re your family members, friends, pets, or even your favorite K-pop idols, it’s undoubtedly a nice way to liven any room and as a conversation starter. You can change the photos now and then to keep your walls interesting. 

5. Use a Whiteboard

Whiteboards are great for brainstorming, which is one of the reasons they’re so popular in offices. If you have a space for one at home and know it will be helpful for your meetings, why not get one? There are various whiteboard sizes available; make sure to get one that will fit nicely in your home office space. 

6. Start Decluttering

A little tidying up can make a huge impact on your workspace. Remove any items or furniture that don’t make you happy. You can try repositioning books on shelves, stowing away wires and electronics, and eliminating unnecessary things to keep the space tidy. Doing so will make your workspace feel more open even after the meeting.

7. Keep It Simple

At this point, there’s no need for funny superimposed beaches. You can choose a room with a blank wall and position yourself away from doors to prevent accidental guest appearances.

8. Add Light to Your Framing

The lighting in your background can make a big difference in your online meetings. It can impact how you’re perceived by coworkers and clients alike. One of the easiest ways to improve your background is brightening up the space with a simple ring light.

Ensure that you can see the shadow cast by your head on the wall behind you. The light will help illuminate your face and reduce the contrast between you and your background, keeping people from being distracted by what’s behind you.

9. Add Accent Pieces

One way to improve your background is by adding accent pieces to your room. For example, if you have a couch in your living room that matches the color scheme of your background, consider getting throw pillows or other accessories that coordinate with it. You can also add paintings or artwork that match the theme of your room, so it looks and feels more like an office conducive to your work.

10. Choose Something Neutral

Whether it’s with your clothes, makeup, or background, neutral colors can help make any space feel bigger, as it creates the illusion of more space between objects in the room. This is especially important when working from home because it allows you to focus on what’s important — your work.

11. Get a Centerpiece 

Adding centerpieces is one way to improve your work from home background on a budget. If you want to create a more professional look for your home office, consider adding items like a unique decor piece positioned aesthetically in the background for extra ambiance and style.

You can also use inexpensive plants, as they make a huge difference in the look of a room. They create a fresh, green vibe perfect for an office environment. You can buy low-maintenance plants from most garden centers or big box stores. You can also start your own by planting seeds in pots or hanging baskets and placing them around your work area.

12. Use a Good Camera

If you want to look more professional during your online meetings, perhaps your biggest investment will be on a high-resolution camera. If possible, try using an HD camera so that everything will look sharp on the screen when people are watching the presentation. This will highlight how clear everything looks when they watch it later on their computers.

Once you have a good camera, position it at a good angle. If you have natural light coming into the room, take advantage of it. This is even better because it will help to illuminate your work from home background and make it look more professional.

Level Up Your Background Game

Ultimately, good communication is the best way to ensure productive meetings. However, that won’t be enough if your physical space is cluttered or unpleasant. As anyone who’s been in a meeting in a windowless conference room can tell you, having an attractive and well-planned space can help your productivity.

If the background doesn’t cut, don’t worry — just try another option! Hopefully, with these few helpful tips in mind, you should have no problem making your next work from home experience as productive as possible.

Johnny Ching

Author Bio

Johnny Ching is the owner of Direct Marketplace — an online furniture store providing the finest quality and budget-friendly products since 2010. With Direct Marketplace, he maintains excellent client relationships and assures their customers have the best possible experience. When not working, Johnny likes to spend his time with his family strolling along the beach of Southern California. 

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