Check Out the Background

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When working remotely, many of your professional (and unprofessional) interactions will be via webcam.  This could be on internal Slack Calls, external Zoom Rooms, or some combination thereof using any number of amazing new technologies.  The only two constants of your virtual self will be you and your background.  Take the time to give it a once over before you broadcast it to everyone.

The easiest thing to do is just turn on your camera and look around.  You can do this in your preferred app (typically under the settings), or you can use another app on your computer like Apple’s Photo Booth to take a peek.  Remember that everything you see will be seen by others.

Some quick tips:

  • Try to keep things simple. You should be the focus of the picture, not that 70’s psychedelic wallpaper you forgot to take down ages ago.
  • Tidy up. While reams of unused paper might be fine for Dunnder-Mifflin, it makes others wonder what else is hiding in the room with you.
  • Use walls.  Having a door on camera can cause someone else to be the next unintentional star of your meeting.
  • Have some fun. Pictures of your cute dog, a flag of your home country, or a miniature TARDIS in the background can make things homey for you and lightens the mood for others too.

Take me back:
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