As our days of working from home do not seem to be ending any time soon, I wanted to bring your attention to just what your environment might say to those with whom you interact virtually on the daily basis.
I'm in a ton of networking meetings and work-related podcasts daily and I have to say that a good chunk of beginning chatter is about participants' environments. Even if there's no running commentary, I definitely notice what is behind someone's aura on the screen. I'm sure you do as well, even if it is only on a subconscious level. You make certain notes about a person in front of you every time you interact, and if their space leaves you wanting more, well - there goes that first impression of working together.
I hope for a well curated space set for success from a well-to-do individual. I want to see the person well lit, and their backdrop to reflect their personality and vision of the world. I would like to better relate to them as human beings in this day in age when we so lack real human connection.
Therefore, I came up with 7 tips that I hope you find useful in curating your work from home space.
Check what section of your work space people see through your screen and remove clutter from the room. Nothing says 'disorganized' than a pile of papers, toys, or bags piled up in the corner. People do pay attention and this reflects on their perception of you and your work ethic. You don't need to conference from your cluttered office either. Pick a well-balanced area of your home that gives you the most pride. It can be your living room, dining room or a bright sunny kitchen.
Do not sit with your back to a window. You will be back lit and barely visible with all the light coming in from the outdoors. Switch your space so that you're sitting in front of a light source if possible. This will give your face an organic natural glow.
Alternatively, put a table lamp a few feet in front of you to bring in additional light to your face and diminish blemishes. Ideally, you would want a 3-point light system around you (and a ring light), but this quick fix will do the trick to looking more youthful and cheerful.
Create a little composition behind you: a few decorative shelves, or a console table with a few strategically placed items like florals or books, and a painting above. Florals add more vitality to any space, and bring the outdoors in.
Have a piece of art behind you that brings meaning to you. Aim for bright contrasts and colors: a vision board of future travels, or a memory of a special place, some form of a conversation starter. Avoid portraiture as it will be skewed on the other side of the screen.
5. Make sure the painting behind you isn't too small and indecipherable over the screen. This is the most common mistake I see people make with the art they choose. They place miniature pieces on large walls, which get lost in such large vacuums and don't translate at all. Your piece needs to have no more than a 1/4 of its width on each side of it.
Alternatively, create a collaged wall of pieces that speaks of your varied interests.
6. The other side of the coin is attempting to squeeze a piece onto a tiny side wall. Once again, leave room for the painting to breathe, at least a 1/4 of its width on each side.
7. Lastly, hang pieces so that the center of each falls at eye level. Gallery standards for hanging are typically 60 inches from the floor for the hook. It makes sense specifically for the work area to adjust the height so that most of the piece is visible on the screen, not just a cut off corner.
I'm happy to send over my special 'Art Install Guide', as I know so many of us are in the process of improving our spaces. Shoot me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll make sure to send over a complimentary copy!
In addition, check out these amazing tips from interior designers on wall colors, accent areas and more!