(STUDY FINDS) – The background you choose for your Zoom call can significantly impact first impressions, and it turns out that the busier it is, the better! A new study finds that observers show a preference for settings featuring bookcases and houseplants.
Researchers from Durham University discovered that to convey an aura of trustworthiness and competence, users should consider displaying their books or plants in their background — and, importantly, they should smile. Interestingly, men benefited more from these particular backgrounds in terms of first impressions.
Advertisement - story continues below
The study aimed to gauge perceptions based on different backdrops: a living space, a blurred living space, houseplants, a bookcase, a blank wall, and a whimsical image of a walrus on an iceberg. The experiment utilized images of a male and a female participant, each either smiling or maintaining a neutral expression, set against the various backgrounds.