Curate your Zoom Room

Curate your Zoom Room

Lockdown 2.0 – bet you never thought you’d find yourself here again did you?  So we’re back working from home again, but this time it’s all temporary.  Even if another lockdown weren’t happening the future of work would still mean that for most of us we’d be splitting more of our time between work and the office, and that means we should start to think about a more permanent professional set up in our homes, for our chats on Teams and Zoom.

So how do you go about creating the perfect set up at home for temporary working?  Well as with all good workspaces it should start with the perks for productivity.  We recommend a coffee subscription from Café Pod to start, because coffee matters.  Fact.

Next you need to think about your background and what people see.  Filters on Zoom are all very well, and you can pretend you’re on a beach with your colleagues, but they do have that strange “green screen” effect which isn’t particularly natural.  So, think about what you have behind you.  A perfectly placed piece of art is a great start, and it is something that keeps YOU interested at home and tells your teammates what type of person you are as well.  A 3 month rental option from Art in Offices (starting at £75 for the whole 3 months) is ideal, because you can have that beautiful painting or print behind you temporarily (just whilst things are still a bit unsettled) but you don’t have to invest thousands of pounds.  All the perks of the art will be yours like increased productivity, elevated levels of happiness, reduced levels of stress and anxiety – not to mention the beautiful object – can be yours for a fraction of the price of a normal painting.

If you’ve bought an artwork and haven’t had time to put it up yet, then now is your chance.  John Lewis do some amazing photo and picture frames, as do West Elm (and maybe your local framer has some ready-made ones too).  Once your print is in its frame, we suggest using Command Strips to hang the art with.  They’re like Velcro strips that you put on the artwork and they take a lot of weight, trust us, we’ve tried!  They also don’t leave any marks when you take the work down.  To get the perfect placement, put your zoom video on, sit down, and mark out in your head where it would look best.  Try and mark the wall with a pencil that you can rub out, or Postit or Blue Tack.

Bringing nature into your home matters too.  If you’re one of the thousands around the country living without a garden, we recommend getting some flowers into your Zoom background.  There are lots of options here, for those of you without green fingers you can get yourself some silk flowers from companies like Floral Image, or a cactus that can’t be killed from shops like Prick in east London, or you can go down the fresh cut route with companies like Shilpa Reddy (where we get our flowers from).  There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh cut flowers!  Bringing the outside in is wonderful for your mental health as well – humans are meant to be outside in the great outdoors and there’s so much research to say that plants and art combined improve wellness levels and productivity dramatically.

Of course, if you think you’re going to be one of the hundreds of people who will work remotely on a permanent basis from now on, it may well be worth engaging in the services of an interior designer.  Cigal Kaplan not only has interior design services, but she’s also about to launch Shop the Room, a curated virtual room where you can buy all the objects you see.

So now you’ve created a productive space which promotes productivity and wellness, it’s time to focus on yourself.  Eventually we’re going to get back to the office where we have to present ourselves to others, but for now we’re at home where our outfits do still matter.  If we’re going to be doing both office and home work, you need to pick some outfits which work for both.  You can either engage the services of a stylist like Shabrina Kara from Style with Kara, or you could get a tailor to do a virtual fitting for that perfect white shirt.  Companies like Jill at Distinctively Me are doing fittings for the perfect pair of jeans, which are one step up from loungewear and can always be worn to the office on dress down Friday. 

Then there are the finishing touches – some jewellery perhaps, like a pair of earrings designed to fit around your earbuds by MISHO, or Sara Hartley’s beautiful rings which give those gesturing fingers such elegance.

Of course if you’ve woken up in a rush and are staggering in your PJ’s to a meeting, you might not want the video option on at all, and in that case you’re going to need an amazing head shot of yourself, or an outstanding image of your products and services as a place holder.  For that you’re going to need a photographer like Alex Taibel who can do socially distanced photographs of both you and your products.

Now you’re prepared for whatever work, life and lockdown throw at you AND for the weeks and months after when things start to go back to the ne normal.  You’ve curated your space and yourself – don’t you feel more productive already?!

With thanks to our brand partners.