Ten Amazing Summer Zoom and Teams Backgrounds

Despite the easing of restrictions, think many of us will still be attending Zoom or Teams meetings over the next few months. So to get you in a summer mood here are ten amazing summer Zoom and Teams backgrounds to brighten your meetings.

Right click the images to download the images.

waves
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Summer
Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay
Sunflowers
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay
dunes
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
beach
Image by Sathish kumar Periyasamy from Pixabay
street
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay




forest
Image by Karsten Paulick from Pixabay
dandelions
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay
cafe
Image by analogicus from Pixabay
wheat field
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

 

Ten Great Christmas Zoom and Teams Backgrounds

Time to get into the festive spirit in the last full week at work with these festive background for Zoom or Teams.

Right click the images to download the images.

Image by bluartpapelaria from Pixabay
Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash
Photo by Todd Diemer on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash




Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash
Image by Vincent Ciro from Pixabay
Image by Yevhen Buzuk from Pixabay
Image by Reijo Telaranta from Pixabay
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Using iPad as separate whiteboard in Zoom

So you want to use your iPad a whiteboard in a Zoom meeting? Well this is one way in which you can do this easily. You will need an iPad (obviously), a whiteboard or drawing app and it helps to have another device (main computer) to interact with the meeting as well as using the iPad to draw from.

This post came about after people found my other post Using iPad as separate whiteboard in Teams useful.

That post came about after seeing this tweet on the Twitter from Charles Knight.

It got me thinking about whether this was possible, but also how you would do it. So I quickly tried it out and it worked fine. So I wrote it up as a blog post. 

I have also been using a similar process with Zoom meetings, so have now written this one up as well.

If you are joining a Zoom meeting from the iPad you can can screenshare direct from the iPad, once you are screen sharing on the iPad, you can’t see the chat or other members on the Zoom call.

One solution is to join the meeting from both your main computer and your iPad at the same time.

As well as screen sharing you can also share other content or video from your iPad as well.

So on the main computer start or join a Zoom call.

Note the Meeting ID (and the password).

Start Zoom on the iPad and click Join a meeting.

Then enter  the correct Meeting ID (and the password).

Ensure that the microphone is muted (or don’t join Audio).

In the top right hand corner of the Zoom App select Share Content.

You can use the built in Whiteboard for Zoom however this is quite limited in what it can do.

So select Screen.

The select Start Broadcast.

Others on the Zoom call will be able to see your iPad screen.

On the iPad swipe up to access the main screen. This is the view of that from the Zoom call. All participants in the meeting will be able to see what you are doing on your iPad, so it can be useful to turn on Do Not Disturb model to turn off all notifications.

You can then share content from any app on your device, though some video applications don’t share the video content.

One thing you can do is to use the iPad as a meeting whiteboard. So start your favourite drawing or whiteboard app, I like using Paper by 53.

I can use an Apple Pencil to draw and write and this will be shared with my colleagues in my Team meeting.

To stop broadcasting switch to the Zoom App by either bringing back the iPad home screen and tapping the Zoom App icon or through the app switcher.

You will then see this screen. Tap Stop Share to stop sharing your iPad screen with the Zoom call.

Once you stop sharing you will be faced with this dialogue. Either choice will result in you returning to Zoom.

If someone else in the meeting (say a host) stops you from screen sharing then If you tap OK you will remain in the application you are sharing. If you tap Go to application you will be returned to Zoom.

More Harry Potter Teams and Zoom Backgrounds

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow. I took a fair few photographs and have posted them to my other blog.

Some of my photographs I thought might make excellent Teams and Zoom backgrounds, so I posted them to the blog and they have proved quite popular.

So here are some more.

Right click the images to download the images for your personal use only.




Work is still something you do, not somewhere you go

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Over the last few days there has been a wealth of press coverage, politicians talking, discussion online about people returning to the workplace. Sometimes the talk is of returning to work.

Hello!

Hello!

Some of have never stopping working, we have been working from home!

The headlines in the papers and on the web seemed to indicate that people weren’t working and that they should return to work. This is quite insulting to all those people who have been working, and working during a crisis as well as supporting potentially children in their schooling, as well as avoiding meeting friends and family. The main crunch of the issue appears to be the impact of people not commuting to the workplace and the impact this is having on the economy of the city centre and the businesses that are there.

At the end of last week, there was this article on the BBC News: Warnings of ‘ghost towns’ if staff do not return to the office.

Dame Carolyn said the UK’s offices were “vital drivers” of the economy, supporting thousands of local firms, from dry cleaners to sandwich bars. “The costs of office closure are becoming clearer by the day. Some of our busiest city centres resemble ghost towns, missing the usual bustle of passing trade.

This tweet echoed my thoughts on that article.

The issue is that the genie is out of the bottle now, both staff and businesses are seeing the potential benefits (and the pitfalls) of working from home. This shift in working patterns will not go away. This doesn’t mean that we’re all working from home permanently as we were under lockdown, but it does mean that we’re very likely not to go back to the way things were.

As a result the rest of the business world and the economy will need to reflect that shift and adjust.

coffee

What sparked my post more than anything else was this Medium post about remote work in the US, Remote Work Is Killing the Hidden Trillion-Dollar Office Economy.

Businesses dependent on workers commuting to offices were finding revenues were falling and falling fast. Some were those provides food and drink.

Starbucks attributed the loss of some $2 billion year on year to deserted urban office corridors

Then there was business travel.

…in the air, white-collar workers previously kept a parallel economy buzzing, with business travel accounting for 60% to 70% of all airline traffic. While leisure getaways have also been obliterated, it turns out the bigger punch is the Zoomification of business meetings, a cancellation of business travel that analysts expect to persist for up to two or three years.

Then there are the changes in real estate, with some companies ending leases early, not renewing, or even cancelling new offices.

Pinterest turned heads when it announced it would pay a $89.5 million contract penalty to cancel its lease on a flashy new 490,000-square-foot office building planned in San Francisco.

In the UK we know that train companies are now looking to see how they can reflect the shift from five times a week commuting to the office, to a model where people will only travel two or three times a week to the office.

Yes there is a real issue with the loss of footfall in places like London and Manchester and this needs to be thought about and dealt with. The shift in the working population away from the heart of the cities will result in major changes across the economy, as well as direct impact on the city centre economy. However I do fell that this is also a real opportunity as well to reduce the dependency on commuting and mass daily migration from the suburbs to city centres.

Paddington Station

Last week the BBC reported that there was no plan for a return to the office for millions of staff.

Fifty of the biggest UK employers questioned by BBC have said they have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future.

Within my own organisation, decisions are still being made about the future of the offices we have. However it is clear that we won’t be going back to what we had before. Even being a pretty much blended workplace anyhow, the covid-19 pandemic forced a non-office culture on everyone. Of course everyone won’t be able to work from home, and not everyone will want to work from home. Giving people a choice is important. What I am hoping to see in the future is that office space encourages and enables different ways of working and that rows of desk working staff is not the norm for the future. I discussed this more in an earlier post on changes to my office working.

Personally I think that if we can use this opportunity to move the work landscape from one where large portions of the population scramble to get to a single location via train or driving to one where people work locally (not necessarily from home) then this could have a really positive impact on local economies, as well as flattening the skewed markets that the commute to the office working culture can have on house prices, transport, pollution and so on.

This view was echoed in the FT opinion piece (paywall) by Sarah O’Connor, Goodbye to the ‘Pret economy’ and good luck to whatever replaces it.

The article talks about the rise and fall of Pret.

The rise of Pret has mirrored the rise of London and, until recently, they both seemed unstoppable Yet last week, Pret said it would cut 2,890 jobs, almost one-third of its workforce, after the pandemic wiped out “almost a decade of growth” for the company.

As with many other people, when the call came back to head back to the office, thought, let’s be honest do we need to go back to the office, travelling on trains and buses as well as going out for lunch? The coronavirus is still there, infection rates are rising in some parts of the country and there is still no vaccine and no cure.

My working patterns were not regular or consistent before covid-19, now as we continue to emerge from lockdown I am certainly not expecting major changes to what I have been doing over the last five months, just the odd visit to the offices and not much if any other travel. This will mean less coffee and probably not going out for lunch at all, ah well.

Isn’t it time to start thinking differently about work and the nature of work?

Well some of us have been talking about this for a while now.

Back in 2016, Lawrie Phipps published a really interesting blog post on the nature of work, Something, not somewhere, and increasingly somewhen

The web affords us new ways of working, new opportunities to connect.  It furthermore allows for a richer experience of work and life, rather than forcing us to segregate our time from ourselves via physical location, allowing us to choose when and where we are most productive, and how to conserve our face to face energy for those times that truly require it.

The coronavirus lockdown forced many people to work from home, and though many found it challenging, some thrived. We became better at using tools such as Teams and Zoom, and many found they were more productive, though some didn’t.

Of course working from home is not for everyone and this is where thinking differently about work and the nature of work needs to consider not just working from home, but also working from an office. The office doesn’t have to be the office, it could be an office.

I do hope that we could start not just working from home, but working locally as well, maybe in physical hubs, or other co-location workplaces. That way you can still work from “home” by working locally, but you also get the other benefits of working in a space with others Of course this isn’t new either. Many companies already did allow staff to use local flexible meeting spaces for meetings and working. There are quite a few companies that can provide offices and desks to hire, though these are suffering just as much in the lockdown as well, but when that’s less restrictive there are possibilities.

Of course the economic challenge in all this is how these shifts impact on workers, both those who are now remote working, and those who were previously employed in all those support businesses. The economics shifts we’ve had in the past, in the main de-industrialisation, were often managed badly. As industrial and manufacturing jobs disappeared and new service and office jobs grew, this wasn’t evenly spread across the country, and the end result was areas of high unemployment, slow economic growth and poor social mobility. At the same time saw excessive wages and costs, and where demand for workers could not be met, we saw large rises in commuting, as well as huge increases in house prices, which then resulted in even more commuting.

As we have this paradigm shift in working patterns, we need to think about how we manage that shift to reduce the impact on workers (as well as businesses) that use to depend on other works commuting to the office, drinking coffee and having lunch.

Harry Potter Teams and Zoom Backgrounds




The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

I took a fair few photographs and have posted them to my other blog.

Some of my photographs I thought might make excellent Teams and Zoom backgrounds.

Right click the images to download the images for your personal use only.

Hogwarts Castle

The Great Hall

Diagon Alley

Gryffindor Dorm

Gringotts Bank

The Burrow

Dumbledore’s Office

The Potions Classroom

Yule Ball Ice Sculpture

The Leaky Cauldron

Hogwarts Express

4 Privet Drive

BBC Zoom and Teams Backgrounds




The amazing BBC Archive have posted a series of images of empty BBC Television sets across the years to be used as Zoom or Teams backgrounds.

You can visit the page select the background you want and then save to your computer.

Of course there are some classic (and modern) TARDIS backgrounds.

TARDIS

I also like the fact I could be self-isolating with Del and Rodney, well maybe not.

Then I could be in Tom and Barbara’s kitchen in the Good Life.

Or sitting at the back of a Grange Hill classroom.

Plenty to choose from.