Creating a Positive Virtual Atmosphere

In the world of COVID-19, businesses and individuals are adapting rapidly to move into remote virtual spaces. While the technology is readily available, taking the time to establish an effective virtual environment will improve productivity, generate a more organized, collaborative community, and optimize participation. Following are some simple guidelines for creating an engaging experience for all participants.

Lighting and Angles

  • Light should be behind the camera, not behind you
  • Natural lighting or soft lumens present best rather than fluorescent or bright white
  • When possible, light should come from two directions to eliminate shadows
  • If you don’t have lamps, use this trick to illuminate the face
    • Open a blank document and zoom in on it
    • Turn the brightness of your laptop up all the way
  • Angle of camera should be level to face or higher
  • To refer to notes or a monitor, ensure the camera is installed above


  • Consider using a USB microphone for better quality
  • If using a computer microphone, make sure it’s not covered up or near anything that makes noise
  • Fans, heaters, analog clocks, etc., can create distracting noise
  • If you must type during a call, mute your audio
  • Be aware of outside noises that may be distracting
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking

Background and Environment

  • Be mindful of what is behind you as backgrounds can be distracting or appear messy
  • Close closet or office doors behind you
  • Be aware that a mirror behind you will reflect back everything in the room
  • Remove anything in the environment that can inadvertently cause a distraction
  • Turn off your phone and computer notifications
  • If you have pets who are unruly, consider removing them for the duration of the call
  • For home offices, set ground rules for other residents for work hours, work space and calls


  • Professional office attire
  • Steer clear of stripes or checks or other busy fabrics as they often confuse the camera
  • While some parts of your body aren’t on camera, why risk it? You may have to get up during the meeting, your camera may move slightly, you may have mirror or reflection behind you, etc.
  • Be mindful of accessories such as necklaces or earrings – if they jingle or otherwise make noise when you move, it will be amplified during the meeting

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Looking for COVID-19 Resources related to collaborative technology, effective remote workforce environments and how to address the challenges of COVID-19 disruptions? The Chariot Group and The STRIVE Group can help!

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