Anxiety Party

Supporting team members during COVID-19 work from home is a new situation for many leaders. Not all team members are feeling like bringing their “happy” to virtual happy hours because they’re having a tough time: less barrier between work and personal life means longer hours, no disconnecting, less serendipitous connection between colleagues — all while managing personal situations and stressors. As a way to help the Publicis Sapient Experience team decompress and feel more seen, I started Anxiety Party, a Mural board for our team to anonymously share their anxieties about life, family, work, and more.

Anxiety Party – sticky notes blurred out for privacy

Anxiety Party was entirely voluntarily for team members to share their anxieties, which can be cathartic to just type out loud. It also allowed team members to read the posts and discover empathy and solidarity in others with similar anxieties. Sven Koerber in our Munich office even added his artwork:

Artwork by Sven Koerber

This anonymous mental health exercise was inspired by Daniel Burka’s Anxiety Party exercise for peer reviews his time at Google Ventures in 2016. We also backed the exercise with our Community Code of Conduct to maintain the safety of our community.

Give Anxiety Party a try – grab the Mural template here. Let me know how it goes for your team!

Update: Mandala ceremony closing

May 17, 2020

To give closure to Anxiety Party board, which grew to 100+ posts from our global Experience team, John Maeda created a virtual mandala ceremony. Tibetan monks have a tradition mandalas, intricate sand paintings that are co-created, and then dissipated in a closing ceremony. This is what he created here: