If you think your background doesn't matter when you're working from home, think again.
What is behind you can say a lot about you -- both good or bad. Let's make sure it is only saying good things.
Take some time to set-up your background. Even if you don't think anyone will notice the piles of paper behind you or the dishes in your sink, they will. As with anything on camera, you don't want to distract from you and your message.
Your background can make you look great when it highlights you, but it can also be immensely distracting if not set up correctly.
Here are my favorite DO's and DON'Ts when it comes to your on-camera background:
Make it interesting
A blank wall behind you makes you look like you are broadcasting from a prison cell. You can create interest without distraction.
Using props like books or plants help make it interesting, but it can also help with sound. Books are wonderful sound absorbers so having them around can help get rid of echo or hollow sound.
Sit away from the wall behind you. Some space (depth) behind you helps make you stand out in the camera lens. If you have limited space, make use of a good corner to help create the depth you need.
Use a virtual background
Although I have seen them used well, in most cases virtual backgrounds only create distraction. Unless you have a professional green screen, it will create outline blur around you which is a huge distraction in a meeting. Most often, the virtual background is more hurtful than it is helpful.
Put a window behind you
A window behind you automatically darkens your face or creates shadow. This is called backlight. If you have a window in your office or workspace, move so the window is behind your camera and the light is shining on your face instead. This will highlight you instead of the background. If light behind you is unavoidable, just close the shades or try to limit the light coming in if possible.
Allow for distraction
Depending on how you share your space, too much space behind you can lead to distraction if you are in your living room and your family members are likely to pass through. Don't allow for distraction by setting up in a space you know nothing will be happening behind you.
I hope these tips are helpful! As you create your perfect background, drop a note below and let us know your favorite background tips. Or maybe some BAD ones you've seen? There are plenty to choose from out there!