Many of us are adapting to life working from home, with constant video calls now taking the place of face-to-face team meetings in the office. The problem is working from home means mixing work and pleasure and sometimes that pleasure is a bit messy.
People have been sharing the backgrounds they try to hide when they’re attempting to maintain the illusion of being professional while working virtually from home.
Even doctors do it
Dr Gretchen Goldman is a Research Director at the Center for Science and Democracy in Washington DC. On Twitter, she shared this honest image showing the reality of what was happening when she was live on CNN.
She’d gone on to discuss why she thought appointing a climate change denier to a position in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was a mistake. In reality she was in her underwear surrounded by the chaos of family life.
Business up top
People were inspired by Dr Goldman’s post and began sharing their own. This included a fair few individuals with an equally relaxed dress sense below the view line of their webcam.
Here we can see Juan keeping cool in flip-flops and underwear while presenting a shirt and tie persona above the table top.
Making do with what you’ve got
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the right gear to stream or put on a professional show from home. Some are making do with what they’ve got. When Erika had to do an audition over Zoom she used a really interesting setup that included an ironing board, pile of books and some careful balancing.
Bookshelves equal professional
When faced with a background that contains kids toys strewn all over the place, including Lego dangerously located nearby, the best option might be to face your laptop towards your bookshelf instead. That’s the logic Professor Gema Zamarro applied when appearing on CBSN. Zoom already has virtual backgrounds that include stuffed bookshelves, so it only seems logical to us.
Rocking the socks
Never let it be said that Austin doesn’t know how to look the part from the waist upwards. Another classic mix of comfortable footwear and shorts along with a smartly dressed upper half makes for the perfect Zoom setup.
Ironing board mastery
Improvise, adapt, overcome. Stuck in a hotel room with no decent place to put your laptop for a decent background? Why not setup an ironing board and carefully balance that bad boy to get the perfect angle.
Quick, hide the mess
Working from home, with the schools closed too means for most parents either being surrounded by noise or mess or both. What option is there but to hide the mess as well as possible and out of sight of the webcam? This is a fairly common view for most of us and of course, stops little people running in front of the view when looking for their toys.
Books, books, books
Carefully balancing a laptop on top of a pile of books appears to be a solid favourite among these leaders of improvisation. It’s amazing what people come up with in the heat of the moment.
Here Aimée Morrison was suddenly required on a call while on holiday and with no notice but still managed to pull something together.
Zooming from a balcony
Who needs a fake zoom background when you can just sit on your balcony with the world behind you and the laptop camera pointing in the right direction?
Fresh air to keep you awake, a nice view for your fellow Zoomers and a tan too. Bonus.
Zumba and book smarts
Rebecca Cantor struck upon problems when trying to work out how to hold a Zumba class while working from home and socially distancing. The solution turned out to be this laptop carefully balanced on a pile of books.
Alison Holder is a director of Equal Measures 2030. An organisation whose aim is to move the world towards gender equality. Some serious and worthy business.
So she needs to look the part when on video calls. In this instance, a pile of moving boxes were required to achieve the right effect.
Another balcony with a view
Justin McElroy is an Affairs Reporter for CBC in Vancouver. This image of him seems to show he’s given up trying and is just on his balcony in a dressing gown.
Effort was put into this one
We admire the effort put into this one. A coloured cloth hung over the window, a whiteboard offering some flattering reflective lighting, notes all over the place but out of view, a floral backdrop. Wonderfully thought out.