Tips on choosing a realistic Zoom virtual background for your business meetings


Hide your messy kitchen or spare bedroom from your colleagues with the perfect virtual background that looks real.

We’ve all done dozens – or hundreds – of Zoom video calls by now. And learned how easy it is to swap out our real background with a virtual one.

But it’s not that simple to choose one that looks like it’s a real office or living room. Because sometimes you really don’t want to make a business call
from the Batcave
. Although sometimes, admittedly, sitting at Leslie Knope’s desk in Pawnee, Indiana is just the ticket. Even if you end up craving waffles all day, just like her character on Parks and Recreation.

SEE: How to use Zoom: 15 tips and tricks (free TechRepublic PDF)

And while, ideally, it might be easiest to just use your own real background, it still looks nicer to have something a bit neater than your own messy office or kitchen visible. And now that most of the world is still working from home, with offices only slowly reopening, there’s always the chance that a kid or roommate might pop into the camera view if they don’t realize you’re in the middle of a meeting. 


Here are some of the most realistic Zoom backgrounds
that have just the right perspective that will make your co-workers and colleagues do a double take during your next video conference. Keep a shallow field of depth, the colors simple, and the setting realistic if you want to make people think you’re not using a virtual background. 

SEE: Photos: The 27 most realistic Zoom virtual backgrounds for business meetings (TechRepublic)

Free virtual backgrounds of libraries and bookcases

Bookcases are a popular option, because they add depth, but also some interest. Faber Books provided several images on Twitter of their favorite libraries around the world. NPR’s music background bookcase is another popular option.

faber-books-library-3.jpg

An interesting library setting will definitely provide a nice background for your video calls. Faber Books provided free Zoom backgrounds of some of their favorite backgrounds from around the world. 

Image: Faber Books

Chapman University in Irvine, Calif. has provided several free Zoom background images of its campus and libraries that provide fantastic depth and perspective for business meetings. 

graphic-novels-collection.jpg

Use this reading alcove at Chapman University as your next meeting backdrop and your colleagues will swear you’re sitting right in the room.

Image: Chapman University

The Los Angeles Public Library has shared indoor and outdoor images from its various libraries around the county and some of the images are ideal for Zoom backgrounds. 

centralflowerbackground.jpg

Relax outside the Los Angeles Public Library for a bit during your next meeting.

Image: LAPL

Free virtual backgrounds of the great outdoors

Speaking of the great outdoors, that’s definitely one way to go, especially with summer arriving. You can tuck yourself onto a patio or deck and yet still appear to be conducting business efficiently. 

we-zoom-3.jpg

West Elm shared this A-frame deck image to use as a Zoom background. 

Image: West Elm

Showcasing the perfect living room or kitchen

If you would like to showcase the perfect living room or kitchen, in addition to the above A-frame deck, West Elm has shared quite a few Zoom images that are designer-created and will make your co-workers envious of your sense of style. 

we-zoom-1.jpg

The perspective and depth will make it look as if this is your own living room. 

Image: West Elm

Getty images and virtual backgrounds

Getty Images has shared dozens of free Zoom backgrounds of popular photos. They have a watermark, but you can purchase the image without a watermark if you really want to fool your colleagues. 

Brighten up your video call background with this free image. Search for ID# 72210821 to get it without the watermark.

Make your co-workers think you’ve time traveled back to the 90’s with this cool image that’s one of many that Getty is giving away free.

Image: Getty Images

Whichever background you choose, it’s easy to swap out a virtual image instead of your real one. Just
read TechRepublic’s tutorial from Brandon Vigliarolo
on how to do it in a few simple steps. 

Also see

zoom-music-background.jpg

Image: NPR





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