Tech

Surprise your colleagues in Zoom or Microsoft Teams with these sets

Working from home has become a daily routine for many. We participate in one video call after another. The most popular apps are Zoom and Microsoft Teams. With both you can change the decor of your video image. The apps recognize you, cut you out, as it were, and fill the rest of the image with a “virtual background” of your choice.

That cutting does not always go smoothly (that depends on how even your background is in real life), but the idea is great. Especially if you are in the attic with the laundry basket in the background.

You can already find thousands of wallpapers on the internet, about anything and everything, for the desktop of your computer or the home screen of your smartphone or tablet. You can also use that, but a good virtual background for video calls requires certain characteristics. The first is spaciousness. When a background shows a physical space on a scale that is somewhat consistent with your normal space (or not at all, that can be funny) then the background works better.

A second characteristic is tranquility. A calm image as a background works better. A busy background, even if it is fake, is only distracting. That is also why we do not recommend videos as background for Zoom.

For text and an explanation of how to add and change a background, you can consult Zoom and Microsoft.

Time for the backgrounds. We have made a small selection for you.

AirBnB: Amaze your colleagues with your charming little house.

Pixar: Virtual backgrounds from Toy Story to Coco.

Burton: Show that you are an outdoors person.

Netflix: Step into the setting of your favorite series. (Bonus: Marty’s office from Ozark.)

Bright: And so it seems as if you are in our office. Welcome! (Position yourself on the image above, choose Open in new window and save the file.)

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