There are several reasons you should organize your home office before a Zoom meeting. Firstly, it’s about your productivity and professionalism — an organized office means no distractions during the meeting, so you stay focused and actively participate in the discussion. Also, a well-designed office is visually appealing and therefore creates a presentable background that can positively reflect on you and your work ethic.
And, you don’t have to be a professional interior designer to perfectly design your home office and ready it for an online meeting. Here are some simple but effective design tips you can implement any day:
Add Some Flowers or Greenery
Having plants in your home is not just about adding some visual interest during the virtual meeting, it can also have mental and physical health benefits. Studies have shown that having plants in your workspace can help reduce stress, boost creativity, and even improve air quality.
Some great options for office plants include the Snake Plant, which is known for its stress relief and air-purifying qualities, and the Pothos, which is a low-maintenance plant that can grow well in low light conditions.
But if you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of other options for adding some greenery to your workspace. You could order fresh flowers or succulents from an online flower delivery service and display the flowers in vases.
Pay Attention to the Lighting
A good webcam that delivers sharp, high-resolution videos can make all the difference. But that’s not all. If you don’t have good lighting, not even a good camera can help you look your best during the Zoom meeting.
If possible, avoid installing overhead lighting that can create unflattering shadows and wash out your features. Instead, consider using lamps or even natural light for soft, diffused lighting. A ring light or softbox light might also be a great alternative if you want even, flattering glows.
Besides making you look good, lighting serves the same purpose as flowers, which is to add vibrancy and warmth to any setting.
Clean and De-Clutter the Office
A cluttered and dirty space looks disorganized and worse still, it can negatively impact your productivity and mental clarity. But, you can avoid all that mess by applying the following easy tips:
- Invest in shelves, drawers, filing cabinets, and such storage solutions. This will help you keep your paperwork, office supplies, and other items organized for the online meeting and after the meeting.
- Take breaks throughout the day to tidy up your workspace. A few minutes of decluttering can help you feel more focused and productive.
- Minimize distractions. Remove anything from your workspace that isn’t essential to your work, such as personal items or non-work-related papers.
Choose a Neutral Background
To create an engaging and professional video presence, you should pay attention to both your appearance and the background. You don’t want to choose a cluttered or “shouting” background that can detract from your message and make it difficult for your viewers to stay focused on what you’re saying.
You can easily create a polished and distraction-free background by setting up your meeting spot in front of a simple, clean wall or adding a tasteful piece of artwork or decor to create a visually appealing background that complements your message. Alternatively, you could adopt a virtual background — Zoom and many other video conferencing platforms let you upload a custom background image or video that will appear behind you during your calls.
Add a Comfortable Chair
A high-quality office chair can be a great addition to your home office. It will make your space look professional, and it will also ensure your comfort during and after the meeting. So, look for a chair with adjustable features such as seat height, armrests, and lumbar support, so you can customize the chair to fit your body.
If possible, get an ergonomic chair that’s specifically designed to promote good posture and support your body’s natural alignment. Such chairs help reduce the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders and promote better overall health and well-being.
Add Color Strategically
Color can have a significant impact on a person’s mood and productivity, so try as much as you can to choose colors that can create an environment that promotes focus and creativity. Blue is a great color choice for a home office because it is calming and helps reduce stress. The color is also associated with productivity and can help you stay focused during the Zoom meeting. If you are not a fan of blue, you won’t go wrong with green or even yellow if you want to set a cheerful mood. You can also use shades of gray for a sleek, sophisticated look.
Regardless of the color you choose, ensure it is subtle and appeals to you and others in the meeting.
Try to Personalize
Consider adding some artwork, photos, or decorative items that reflect your personality and style while at the same time making a great first impression. These can be anything from a favorite painting or photograph to a piece of quirky decor that makes you smile.
Personalizing your home office has no formula, so don’t be afraid to get a little creative. You could create a gallery wall of your favorite photos or artwork, or hang a favorite inspirational quote above your desk. You could also add a pop of color with a bright rug or curtains.
Install Soundproofing Material
Soundproofing your home office can be an effective way to reduce background noise and improve audio quality during video calls. This is especially important if you live in a noisy environment or have family members or roommates who might create distractions during the meeting.
One of the most popular soundproofing materials is acoustic foam panels. These panels are designed to absorb sound waves and reduce echo, making them a great choice for home offices that have hard surfaces or high ceilings. You can also use curtains or drapes for the same purpose.
As you might have realized, making your home office Zoom-ready is all about striking the right balance between functionality, style, and personalization. The tips we’ve just discussed can help you create a professional and functional home office that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Of course, also ensure the office is reflective of your personality; you can bring a little bit of yourself to every virtual call and help build meaningful connections that transcend physical distance.