Since the pandemic began, my coworkers and I have been telecommuting to work every day, as most businesses have if they can operate that way. On a daily basis, we communicate through Skype for any project meetings, questions, or discussions we need to have. Other people have been using Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

You have probably gotten on a call and noticed that one of your coworkers has a fun background! Maybe they look like they are on a beach or in front of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Well, you too can have one of those default backgrounds. If you are using Skype or Zoom, you even have the ability to upload a customized background! Check out how to below:

Skype – How To:

  1. Make sure your app is updated.
  2. While on a call, hover over the video camera button.
  3. There is a box at the bottom that says, “Background Effect”.
  4. Click the box to choose a preset image or upload your own!

Note: Currently you can not use videos for Skype backgrounds.

Zoom – How To:

  1. After logging in to your account, click the settings wheel in the top left corner.
  2. Then click the virtual backgrounds tab.
  3. You can then choose one of the default photos or videos or add your own photos and videos.

Note: Zoom recommends that your photos are a minimum of 1280 x 720 pixels for best results and suggests the use of a green screen with backgrounds.

Microsoft Teams – How To:

  1. When you are setting up for a meeting, click the background effects tab.
  2. This tab is on the right-hand side of the microphone icon.
  3. You can choose from the options that appear or just blur your background.
  4. If you are in a meeting and want to change the background, tap more actions.
  5. Then click “Show Background Effects” to change, remove, or blur your background.

Note: Microsoft Teams suggests having a high-quality camera or laptop with a high-quality built-in camera to use backgrounds. There is currently no option to add your own backgrounds.

Canva just introduced some fun downloadable backgrounds, both photo and video, that work for Skype and Zoom! So, if you are working from home and want to add a little fun to your calls, give backgrounds a try and get creative with them!

About the Author

Samantha Payne

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