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Decor considerations

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Room finishes and colors shall be selected to maintain the natural rendition of color and pattern: 

  • Backdrop wall color 
  • Light reflectance value of 30-40 

The walls should be a monochrome, flat color to create a good contrast between skin tone and room background, and to reduce the impact of lighting. Light blue or light grey is usually recommended. Paintings could be added to give the room a more pleasant atmosphere, although it is preferable to place them on walls that will not be visible on the screen, that is, outside the camera’s field of view. The wall behind the speaker should be neutral. 

The choice of furniture is relevant when outfitting the room, as it can help create a pleasant atmosphere and foster a climate of trust, especially in a telemental health context, in which patients should feel comfortable confiding in the clinician. Although comfortable furniture might seem to be a good choice, the different possibilities and uses for the room should first be considered. For example, an armchair might be appropriate for telemental health consultations but might not lend itself as well to “more medical” contexts. In the case of telemental health, some recommend that a table be placed in front of patients to help them feel more comfortable and to create a “buffer zone” between the patients and the videoconferencing material. However, others recommend against this, as it prevents the proper interpretation of body language and places an obstacle between the speakers. Opinions are divided on this issue. 

Bring the outside in with some live plants and don’t take for granted the power of a few decorative accents. If a jute wastebasket, shag rug, and matching leather desk accessories make you happy, go ahead, add them to your office. We spend a lot of time at work, so it’s nice to make a space that truly feels yours. 

Working from a home is a new luxury of today’s connected world. And while it’s convenient to avoid a commute, working in your own environment with your own gear can also make you really happy. Take advantage of that freedom and spend a little time creating a space tailored just for you.