When the world realized that COVID-19 was more than just a flu-like illness, employers took precautions to keep their employees safe. This meant skipping the commute and attending a job meeting in pajamas.

Eventually, we all got used to working remotely and found an unused little nook in our homes to turn into an office.

However, we still needed to keep a professional appearance and our homes became another aspect of that. Good lighting and a visually-appealing background became just as important as brushing our hair. Making your home office look well-organized not only increases your efficiency and energy levels but also has you looking professional.

Today, we are going to show you how you can be proud of your new workspace. With a few personal touches, you’ll be able to transform your bland, blank wall into an inspiring personal workspace (even if you are still secretly wearing your pajama pants).

Video Conferencing Background Options

When making video calls for your job or business, it can be tough maintaining professional look. It can also be difficult to stand out from the crowd when you’re relying solely on your computer webcam and a space that was never intended to double as an office.

That’s why there are several types of video conferencing backgrounds available.

Option #1: Use Office Décor as Your Background

Who doesn’t appreciate a beautifully organized and well-decorated room? You can create a stunning background for your video conferencing with things you already own – especially if you take a little extra time laying them out nicely.

Using a bold paint color change can make your walls pop as will a hand-painted mural or peel-and-stick wallpaper. It’s a great way to showcase other skills you probably don’t use at work, and it’s a fantastic conversation starter – no more awkward silences waiting for others to join the meeting.

You can also use books and collection items to decorate your background. Either build or buy bookshelves and place them on the wall behind your desk. Once installed, start layering treasured items and your favorite books to create a space that reflects your style.

If you have a beautiful view from your window, you can use that to your advantage. Simply move your desk in front of it. You’re going to be backlit, so we suggest you place one or two table lamps to light you up when you are on camera.

Another option is to create a gallery wall with your favorite family pictures, artwork, and quotes. To pull it off, you’ll need enough pieces to assemble a collection that feels like one. Again, you can use a variety of frames, shapes, and sizes or keep it minimalistic.

This can become even more fun if you decide to change the decor every season or holiday. We bet your colleagues will be happy to see a cute Halloween decor for October 31 or festive Christmas lights behind you.

There are infinite options to explore with office decor to create a background perfect for you and the type of work.

Option #2: Set Up a Green Screen

If you don’t want to share your physical workspace with your entire office staff, you can easily create an appealing background with a green screen.

Green screens are probably one of the cheapest ways to create a backdrop for your video conferencing. You can make one with a pipe and drape fabric from your local craft store, or buy a collapsible version online. They have become extremely affordable, usually starting around $20. There are even options that attach to your chair, removing the need for a huge setup.

Green screens come in handy since some older computers don’t have the processing technology needed for real-time virtual backgrounds. Underpowered video processors and graphics cards can lead to pretty embarrassing scenarios when your face morphs into the photo you are using as your background. As a result, the cleanest option to transform your background is to use an actual green screen.

Option #3: Use Virtual Backgrounds

If you like to change the scenery around you – or if your home isn’t tidy enough to show on camera – virtual backgrounds are easy and quick to use.

However, enabling virtual backgrounds on platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams is only possible if your computer has the necessary processors to handle the hefty image computation to remove your actual background and swap in a graphic in real-time. If your computer is newer (purchased in the last 2-3 years), you can probably have a lot of fun with these.

If you’re unsure of whether your computer can handle the load, here are rough requirements as of October 2021:

Windows System Requirements for Zoom Image Backgrounds

  • Windows 7, 8, and 10 (64-bit)
  • Supported processors
    • Intel i3
      • 2 cores or higher
      • 5th generation or higher
    • Intel i5
      • 2 cores or higher
      • 3rd generation or higher
    • Intel i7
      • 2 cores or higher
      • 3rd generation or higher
    • Intel i9
      • 2 cores or higher
      • 3rd generation or higher
    • AMD
      • 8 logical cores
      • 3.0Ghz or higher

macOS System Requirements for Zoom Image Backgrounds

  • macOS version 10.13 or higher
  • Supported processors
    • Apple M1
    • i5 – 2 cores or higher, 6th generation or higher
      Note: 6th generation i5 dual-core processor, requires macOS 10.14 or higher
    • i7 – 4 cores or higher, 4th generation or higher

Download Your Own Free Video Conference Backgrounds

There are so many virtual background options online — free and paid. We’ve curated a collection of our favorites down to a library of 224+ free static and video backgrounds use in a variety of collections. Download them for free with a single click, and get work-from-home tips and best practices sent you each week.