The typical work week has changed drastically over the past two months. Your morning commute is now a five second walk, your dog is your most talkative coworker, and going out for lunch means getting takeout and sitting on your patio. Since we can't physically interact with our colleagues (or really anyone for that matter), the only "face-to-face" interaction we have are in Zoom meetings. Meetings in general can be pretty uneventful, so why not step up your Zoom game and add a Virtual Background to your video? Below are some options to get you started.
For film/TV junkies
Now's the chance to star in your favorite movies and TV shows! Marvel released backgrounds of Wakanda, Asgard, and more. DC Comics has done the same. Disney and Pixar have also joined the fun with backgrounds of Onward and The Little Mermaid. If you've always wanted to be an SNL cast member or a member of the Pawnee Parks Department, TV Guide has TV-themed Zoom backgrounds here.
For the avid traveler
COVID-19 prevents non-essential travel, and for folks like me who had big trips planned during this time, a location-themed background can almost make you feel like you're on that trip. One of my go-to sites for travel deals, Airfare Watchdog, shared travel-themed backgrounds of some of the world's most beautiful destinations. United Airlines has flight-themed backgrounds as well. Travel to your destination during your hour-long Zoom meeting by starting with your background on the plane, then shifting to an image of your destination towards the end of the meeting!
For the happy hour enthusiasts
Did your team have a weekly happy hour spot they frequented? You can still enjoy that team outing virtually! Plus, virtual happy hours are a great way for the team to connect on a more personal level. Choose your favorite bar, have each team member use the same background of the inside of that bar, then make the bar's signature drink. Bottoms up and cheers to virtual happy hours!
For the client-facing worker
Zoom video meetings are great for internal meetings, but they're also extremely useful for client or potential client meetings. Showing your face along with your voice in a virtual meeting is much more meaningful and interactive. If you're frequently engaging with clients or potential clients, turn your camera on, and use your company logo or motto as your background! It helps builds better connections with your customer, and they remember what your organization is all about.
Try it for yourself!
To find your backgrounds, you can do a simple search on Google. I've used Twitter to find most of my backgrounds, just by searching for Zoom backgrounds. Once you find your perfect background you'll need to download it to your computer, so be sure the source you're using is safe. Below are steps to enable your Zoom virtual background:
- Once you've joined your meeting, on the bottom left of your Zoom screen, look for the Video Camera icon. Next to the icon is an up arrow. Click the arrow and select Choose Virtual Background.
- Zoom has some pre-installed backgrounds, but you can upload your own where it says Choose Virtual Background, hit the plus [+] sign in the box on the right, then select Add Image.
- Find the image on your computer, select it, then hit Open.
- The image will set to your video background, and Zoom will give you a preview of what it looks like. If you're satisfied, you can hit the red [x] at the top left of the Zoom Settings box. You're all set!
If you need support on enabling your Zoom background, click here to access Zoom's guide.