I don’t know about you, but I’m on at least 5 – 10 Zoom calls every week. With hybrid work becoming the new normal, we’ve all had varying degrees of success with creating a professional-looking set-up. So what’s the best way to set up your office for business video calls?
Styling your home office set-up for the best-looking video call boils down to three things: Lighting, camera angle, and background. Take an hour to fix up your office, and you’ll be back to Zooming in no time.
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Use the best lighting
Looking good on camera for your Zoom call heavily depends on the lighting in your home office. The most flattering light will come from directly in front of you and shine on your face. If possible, position yourself to face a window. Natural light is the most flattering, and the direct light source will smooth out any imperfections.
But what if that isn’t an option? In that case:
Invest in a small video conference light. You might think these are just for YouTubers and influencers, but I promise, they’re a great investment for anyone who’s regularly doing video calls. I recently upgraded my lighting to this set of two video conference lights by HumanCentric I got on Amazon, which makes a HUGE difference. Check it out:
Position your camera lens properly
Your camera lens should be at eye level or slightly above. Most people keep their camera angle too low and it can be unflattering. Prop your laptop up on a few books or purchase an inexpensive stand and you’ll be good to go.
Even if you’re working from your living room on a laptop desk (you can DIY this one for under $20), this tip is vital to follow. You can use books underneath the legs of the desk in addition to the stand if you need extra height.
If you want to go one step further, invest in a better camera than the one built into your laptop or monitor. I have this affordable webcam and it’s a head and shoulders above my Macbook camera.
Bonus tip: When speaking, look into the camera lens and not at the screen. Your coworkers will feel more of a connection to you and to what you’re saying.
Style the space behind you
Don’t forget to style the space behind you. This is what everyone you chat with online will see during your conference calls.
First, you’re going to want to pick a good spot to use for your video calls. Set up your laptop and look at the screen to see from your colleagues’ perspective:
- Is there a mess of cords behind you?
- Is there a pile of laundry?
- Is there a completely blank wall that makes you look like you’re zooming from a prison cell?
These are all things that are very easily addressed and won’t take a lot of time or money. You’ll want to keep the styling on the wall behind you fairly simple. This way, people are focusing on you and not on a large gallery of family photos. On the flip side, avoid having nothing on the wall, as that can feel cold.
Consider adding one large piece of artwork to the wall or creating an accent wall as a backdrop. Do you have a shelf or a console behind you? Add a plant or two for some warmth and life. If you need tips on styling that shelf, I wrote a full post to help you out.
That’s basically it! Setting your home office up for a professional-looking zoom call shouldn’t take you more than an hour, and it will be an hour well spent. Because let’s face it, video conferencing is a really big part of our lives.
Looking for more workspace inspiration? Here’s all my best content about designing your home office.