Microsoft Teams thinks some new virtual backgrounds will solve all your productivity woes

Microsoft Teams virtual backgrounds
(Image credit: Microsoft Teams)

Microsoft Teams is introducing a host of new virtual backgrounds that it says will help boost productivity by making participants feel more comfortable when on a call.

The launch, part of a wide-scale refresh of the video conferencing platform's image library, includes a selection of backgrounds designed to "evoke different moods and actions", hopefully improving worker productivity on Microsoft Teams calls.

Microsoft says the new images have been "thoughtfully designed to represent the people that use them and how they work best," with six new categories offering a wider choice than ever before.

New Microsoft Teams virtual backgrounds

"Feeling comfortable and empowered within your personal space can significantly influence how you authentically show up, especially in virtual environments which can have a profound impact on your mental health and overall well-being", a Microsoft blog post announcing the news declared.

"Whether it’s a tranquil beach setting that soothes the mind, a bustling cityscape that ignites motivation, or an imaginative backdrop that sparks creativity, the right virtual background can influence how you feel."

"The new Teams backgrounds have been built to not only be a delightful tool for self-expression but an effortless way to enhance your digital presence."

Microsoft added that the new additions were influenced by the findings of its recent Future of Work study, which found over half (54%) of leaders are currently redesigning meeting spaces for hybrid work, or plan to in the year ahead. 

The report also found that nearly half (43%) of remote employees and hybrid employees (44%) sharing they don’t feel included in meetings, and Microsoft hopes the new Teams backgrounds can go some way to addressing this.

Along with its new designs, Microsoft also revealed some new statistics showing how ubiquitous Teams has become for users across the world. The company says Teams is currently available in 181 countries and 44 languages, and boasts over 300 million users worldwide.

The new image library is available for users to "enjoy" now.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.