hybrid office

How Are You Reducing Mirror Anxiety?

Recently Stanford researchers coined the phrase mirror anxiety, it is the concerns and anxiety that has surfaced in looking at ourselves on video conferencing all day. 

In the upcoming hybrid work world, do we need to be staring at a screen and part of multiple synchronous video-based conversations to make decisions, to gain consensus and to develop out ideas? 

Is this something you truly believe is right for your business? 

Or is there a better way of addressing this? 

Although this seems to be individual concerns, this is having negative company culture issues.

Judged By Pixel 

There are a number of negative emotions that have evolved since March 2020 and being judged pixel by pixel, this is causing unrest and upset within your business. 

Zoom has introduced AR filters to touch up your appearance, Snapchat camera enables different filters from hats to freckles, Teams have also embraced filters to entertain or help to make people feel more comfortable. 

Should we need filters for work?
Should we be concerned about what we are wearing?
If a hoody or athleisure is acceptable working from home vs working in the office? 

Improving EX  

Many businesses are at a point where they need to play for the future, they have to plan for the next norm and it is important to develop out your plan alongside improving the employee experience and reducing their problems. 

Some of the recent conversations that have been brought up to me on meetings or while attending meetings: 

  • Have you had your hair cut? 
  • Debbie got bangs
  • Have you not shaved again? 
  • X has his Zoom shirt on 
  • You look different, what did you do? 
  • You’ve changed where you are working today? Why did you do that?
  • What does that say on the whiteboard behind you? 

Tactical Lead: EX & CX

As a firm believer in company strategies should be guided by customer problem solving, this internal customer problem solving is going to help improve performance, morale and company culture. 

The working from anywhere movement will continue to gain traction and in an approved hybrid work environment, without guidance, we will see mirror anxiety and judgement by pixel increase. 

Historical Survival To Asynchronous Future 

As humans we are curious, we used to notice these things to survive, become part of tribes, herd people along with us and take on an alpha role within the group, being reviewed by pixel and causing mirror anxiety is something you will need to proactively address, methodically plan and embrace asynchronous practices. 

Things To Consider To Reduce Mirror Anxiety:

Can you embrace audio? Enabling video with captions (automated cc are available on many free tools and within your existing tool kits) will be important for those with disabilities. 

Can each employee have an avatar to work behind? Will this help to reduce anxiety and bring a collective approved working view? 

Can you embrace pre-recorded videos where you can then have a debate on not in real-time where physical judgement is removed? 

Can you create a living document (or wiki) you form real decisions around and create discussion with comments? 

However you are planning for the future, plan to reduce mirror anxiety and “zoom fatigue” and embrace better working methods. 

Need help improving your hybrid workplace? Instantly download the Focus Hybrid Guide below:


Important Helpful Resources