I was told that the photo on the left is too bright and the white shirt on white background blending in.
When I tried to use some kind of neutral color (like grey) as a background I was told that it’s a distracting background.
So, what would be a good background for such a photo?
The context it’ll be used for: business profile photo for websites like LinkedIn, etc.
It’s not distracting
Personally I don’t think it is distracting. And white background profile pictures are ubiquitous. Especially since companies want to keep visual similarity between their team, and many staff members won’t be wearing white.
Use the corporate colour scheme
The only other approach I have used quite frequently is to use a background colour the same as the company brand, and then simply (!) instruct staff members to wear non-clashing colours for the shoot (Tip. If you colour-replace their clothes afterwards they get annoyed haha)
Use grey/grey gradients
As suggested already, but way lighter than the grey in your original example in my opinion, like #b9b9b9
Here’s a rough example of the company colour, and b9b9b9 suggestions:
Lastly, here’s my other suggestion (alter employees outfit haha)