Putting this color in your Zoom background will help you land the job

Etsy has officially chosen sky blue as their 2021 color of the year. The decision-making process that goes into big, bold predictions like this is probably a bit more nuanced than an outsider may presume. Etsy’s resident trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson explained that – aside from being a color that can easily be manipulated into an existing design – sky blue specifically indicates that “hope is on the horizon … while offering tranquility and further connecting us to nature.”

That’s what everyone needs more of right now, and we’re very mindful of the year we are emerging from and all of the implications of that year. Now, more than ever, we recognize the desire to connect to nature, to feel a sense of soothing and security. We also understand the need to ace that socially-distanced Zoom interview or networking event, and have reason to believe that sky blue could be the key to landing the job.

Why sky blue?

Historically, Many people use blue in their brand to convey a sense of reliability, honesty, and assurance. This seems to stem from the calm people experience when viewing the color itself. Times of India explains, “This color stands true to its appearance. Peaceful, calm and gentle, blue has tremendous power to manage stress. It’s a very soothing color that helps calm your mind, slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Blue is believed to have a cooling and astringent effect.” In a nutshell, blue is comforting and seems to encourage positive feelings from the person experiencing it.

Many studies have been done to reach this conclusion over the years. One commonly referenced study was done in 2003 with combined efforts by researchers with the University of Southern Mississippi, University of Miami, and Oklahoma State University. They examined the effects of color, lighting, and price point on shoppers in several phases and concluded that “for fashion-oriented stores, blue interiors are associated with more favorable evaluations, marginally greater excitement, higher store patronage intentions, and higher purchase intentions than are orange interiors.” Blue is the color most often used by brands to promote trust in their products and trusted brand IBM has been using blue as their staple color for years.

Exposure to blue light is another aspect to look at when considering this color in your application process and even using it intermittently throughout your career. While blue light is largely recognized for being detrimental to a good night’s sleep, the proper amount of exposure to blue light rays at times that line up with one’s circadian rhythm has actually been shown to elicit positive responses in test subjects. An article published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health expands:

Daniel Kripke, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, thinks bright light, particularly blue wavelengths, may also prove useful for treating premenstrual depression and bulimia, and he says there is preliminary evidence it might be useful for anxiety. And researchers at Case Western Reserve University, led by Patricia Higgins, an associate professor of nursing, are testing bright blue lights in a long-term care facility for patients with dementia. Very preliminary results “show promise in raising activity levels during daytime hours and increasing sleep at nighttime,” she says.

Because of continuing research into the effects of the color blue on the human psyche, Glasgow, Scotland replaced many of their existing street lamps with blue lights in 2000 and found that crime decreased noticeably. Similarly, Nara, Japan jumped on the blue light wagon in 2005 and crime decreased by 9% almost immediately. In fact, several years ago Japan was dealing with a suicide crisis. Following the installment of blue LED lamps on 71 train platforms, there was an 84% decrease in incidents. Whether this was because of the type of lighting used, the color of the lighting, or a combination of the two, we may never know. But there seems to be much to play with when examining such incredible results.

Incorporate the all-the-rage color into your life

If you can’t find a background you love at creative commons sites like Unsplash and Pixabay, check out a site literally called Blue Sky, which provides appropriate Zoom backgrounds for almost any occasion. Whether you’re trying to cover up excess clutter, give off a more professional appearance than your at-home workspace provides, create an ambiance with your interview, or otherwise, interesting background choices can be a gorgeous backdrop to your first impression or simply serve as a fun conversation piece. Integrate blue, and feel certain that you have done all you can to engage your interviewer’s senses and make them feel calm and confident in your abilities.