How to create a Zoom-friendly workspace?

May 19, 2021

A laptop and a mug on a tabl

Having a Zoom-friendly environment in your house has become a necessity in the wake of the global pandemic. The circumstances have pushed everyone to adapt to a work from home environment that at one time was only designated to freelancers, writers, and designers. 

Even with the vaccine distribution in place, it seems like we will be using Zoom for a long time, so why not accommodate or settings accordingly. 

Here is a rundown of how to adjust your workstation to make it Zoom-friendly:

Designate Space 

Designating a room or a corner for your work is crucial. If you choose to change places with every meeting, it won’t always work because there are many factors at play. 

Giving yourself a designated workspace will motivate you to get in your work mode even if you are in your pajamas. 

You can choose a space where people frequent less to keep disturbances and unwanted cameos in the background at bay. The central space of the house, such as a kitchen or a living room, is not ideal because you never know what’s going to happen or who’s going to walk in. 

A Quiet Place 

Sound disturbance in Zoom sessions is the worst. Whether you want to take a class or join a meeting, you need to be in a place where there is no talking, screaming, music, or tv noises in the background.

Besides general home-full-of-kids sounds, you should also be wary of other disturbances such as lawnmower sounds or traffic if you live in a busy area.

Even though soundproofing sounds extreme, you can try out different corners in the house to find a spot with the least amount of audio disturbances. 

Adjust Your Workstation

You need to be in sync with your workspace to have a Zoom call without any discomfort. Uncomfortable positioning or weather can cause you extreme discomfort, especially when you are supposed to be communicating on camera. 

Ensure that the place where you’re sitting is long-term, meaning: you can spend a few hours in that chair or desk because Zoom meetings sometimes tend to take long. 

Don’t choose to sit in a place that will get you incredibly sweaty just because the lighting is great. Choose a balance. 

Reaching out for things that are positioned far from you gives off an unprofessional image, especially if you’re conducting a meeting on Zoom. Before you begin, make sure that everything you’ll need (documents, a product specimen, stationery, phone charger, glass of water) are all well within reach for seamless movements while you’re online. 

Device Compatibility 

Device compatibility plays an integral role in you having a smooth Zoom meeting experience. If you are new to this, it is wise to check whether you have the latest version of Zoom installed on your device. 

This is especially important if the device that you want to use for the meeting does not have an inbuilt camera or microphone. If you are using a standard processing unit, you will have to externally attach a webcam and microphone device. 

Always conduct test runs to ensure all your devices are working in sync to deter any Zoom call interruptions. 

Be Comfortable

Perhaps the most important factor is to be comfortable while you are working from home. Undoubtedly, there is immense stress due to the pandemic and its impacts on our professional lives. You don’t need to put yourself in other stressful situations. 

Your desk needs to help you be more active rather than make you tired and uncomfortable, which is why adjustable furniture is a savior. The main reasons you need an adjustable desk are because they can be adjusted to your size. You don’t have to uncomfortable sway your legs to the right because they don’t fully fit. 

Other than this, you can add a back support cushion to your chair if your office chair gets uncomfortable pretty quickly. Sometimes a small ottoman or a footstool can help you elevate your tired feet while you are sitting in a chair for a meeting. Do what makes you comfortable!

Posture Matters 

Working from home? You need a standing desk. There are several benefits of standing during the workday, with the most significant one being aiding your posture. Slouching over a traditional desk all day long can have severely negative impacts on your spinal cord. 

Try the Flexispot Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series for a new experience. This standing desk comes with a timer highlighting the optimal time for you to sit and stand while working to keep back pains at bay. The highly customizable frame can be adjusted to your liking and body type effortlessly. 

There are times where you have to sit at a bad angle just so that you are fully visible to your camera. The Adjustable Standing Desk can easily be adjusted according to any height or posture for a smooth video calling experience. 

Camera Angles

Another crucial factor is getting your camera in the right position. If the camera mount is at an unsuitable angle, you may not appear like you should in a professional meeting. You have to make it appear like you are looking people in the eye, which means that the camera needs to be properly placed right on top of the monitor. 

Suppose that height adjustment does not work for you. If that’s the case, there are many monitor stands and clamps available for desktop computers. You can attach one of these to the camera and its extension arm to reach the desired placement. 

A sturdy monitor clamp can allow you to create some distance between you and the camera and so that you can continue using your desk seated or standing without much trouble. 

Figure Out Lighting 

Looking good on camera for your Zoom meeting is dependent on the type of lighting in your home office area or workspace. The light that comes directly towards your face can create the most flattering angle on camera. 

Positioning yourself in front of a window is a good idea, especially if you want natural light to hit your face. Any direct light source can work as it smooths out your imperfections and makes your face glow. 

If you feel that a natural light source is not possible, or the lamps in your house aren’t doing a great job, consider investing in a cheap ring light. Even though they have a reputation of just being for influencers and YouTubers, they are a great investment for anyone who regularly joins video calls.

Setting the Stage

No matter what happens, do not forget to style this space behind you. You have to understand that your backdrop is something that everyone will notice while you are online in a conference call. You can pick a good spot around the house, ensuring that other factors such as comfort, lighting, and sound are not an issue. 

There are other things that you should consider, including the mess insight, such as a pile of laundry or unkept messy shelves. A plain background can work, but if you want to jazz it up a bit, we suggest hanging up a tapestry or wall art to add some personality.

Pro Tip #1: Do not place your camera opposite your door through which anyone can walk in unexpectedly. If the door is in front of you, you can easily manage if someone accidentally walks in. 

ProTip #2: Do not face your camera towards a mirror. Your viewers will be able to see parts of the room (or you) that weren’t meant to be shown on camera. 

ProTip #3: A messy bed in the background gives off a very unprofessional vibe. Try placing your computer opposite your bed. 

Defend Yourself from a Critter Attack 

If you are a working mom of children under the age of five, you know that attending a Zoom call can be challenging. If you have an infant, it is crucial to have some hired help around the house, at least for the time in which you have to work. 

You have to plan your meetings and the children’s schedule in a way that major activities do not overlap. It will not be a wise decision to have lunchtime during meeting hours because things can go sideways pretty quickly. 

You can try communicating that you are doing something important like saving the world to your children in a way that they understand to give you some space. 

While your children may understand, your pet won't. It is better to lock your cats and dogs out of your designated space before the meeting commences; otherwise, there will be a cat prancing across your keyboard in no time. 

Takeaway 

Working from home on Zoom calls can be challenging. However, you can create a comfortable Zoom-friendly space that you’ll love with a few simple steps. 

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