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Fake It Til You Make It: How To Nail Video Calls While Being Stuck At Home

As most Australians are forced to work from home, embarrassing blunders from video meetings and e-catch ups have begun to surface.

But fear not -- there are now a bunch of ways to conceal a messy house, nudity and feral pets and/or children.

Millions of people are now working from home as social distancing becomes the new norm. This means many are taking advantage of free video chat apps for work meetings and to stay in touch with loved ones.

But does Gran really need to see your nude flatmate? And you'd probably prefer that your boss didn't get an insight into your messy home quarters or a sneaky trip to the toilet.

So with that in mind, here are a bunch of ways to spice up your Zoom, Skype or Microsoft Teams backdrop (while dodging those awkward situations).

A Free Interior Design Makeover

The good new is that these makeovers come without the hefty price tag and can also be changed on a daily basis. Freedom Australia is one of many furniture stores to temporarily close stores and only trade online, yet it still wants to help create beautiful homes (even if they are just virtual ones). They are offering six stylish virtual homes to adopt as your own background.

Furniture retailer West Elm has teamed up with Zoom to curate 14 "stylish video conference backgrounds" so you can "start dialing in from your dream home".

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You can choose from a mid-century living room, a New York City waterfront view, an industrial-glam loft and more.

West Elm virtual background offerings. Image: West Elm

Design Your Own Background

While Zoom offers a few default backgrounds, if you want to add a personal touch, online graphic design behemoth Canva can help.

The online design company is offering free virtual background templates that you can customise. The templates include a conference call bingo sheet,  which allows your team to play a game of bingo during the call, crossing off things like a dog barking and someone saying "you're on mute" during thecourse of the meeting.

Image: Canva

Adopt Your Favourite Soapie Star's Home

Modsy is another E-design service and they've recreated famous pop culture homes. This means you can look like you're dialing in from Jerry Seinfeld's apartment or kicking back on the Golden Girls' rattan furniture. Iconic rooms from Friends and Gilmore Girls are also up for grabs.

Seinfield's home. Image: Modsy

Just Blur It All Out

If you're using Microsoft’s Teams or Skype, both platforms allow you to background blur your video. This option doesn't offer up anything that isn't real but does a good job cutting out some of the clutter and makes the call feel a bit more focused on individuals rather than what is behind them.

Image: Microsoft Teams

Because you don’t want to have a worktastrophe like a not-so-secret trip the loo during a meeting.