Learning & Development

Bare Minimum Mondays

Just when we thought we’d heard enough new terms, a new trend has gained prominence among employees who shirk their responsibilities and their employers.

Employees Cutting Back on Commitment

“Bare-Minimum Mondays” is a new social media-inspired trend popularized by Marisa Jo Mayes, a TikTok creator and start-up founder. In an article for CNN, Holly Thomas writes, “Many of us spend Sundays making ‘insanely long to-do lists,’ putting ourselves under ‘paralyzing’ pressure to get our lives together. As a result, we hit Mondays primed for stress and unable to focus or engage properly with work. This sense of chaotic unease ripples across the week, costing us more in terms of productivity and vitality than any amount of effort can compensate for.”

The solution, according to Mayes, is to take it easy on Monday and ease into the workweek. “Bare minimum Monday devotees instead make the conscious decision to coast on the first day of the working week, thus conserving their energy,” Thomas writes. “‘It was like some magic spell came over me,’ Mayes explains. ‘I felt better. I wasn’t overwhelmed, and I actually got more done than I expected.’”

Managing Employee Commitment

Many employers and people managers are likely pulling their hair out at the idea of employees’ consciously deciding to phone it in 20% of each week. If it’s true that coasting on Monday can actually make workers more productive over the course of the day or week, great. But that’s not necessarily true for all companies or all workers, and employers shouldn’t simply accept significantly less effort at the start of each week.

Instead, employers and people managers should consider the extent to which their employees truly are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out, whether that’s specific to Mondays or just in general.

Policy Changes May Help

If this challenge is real, officially sanctioned company policy changes might make sense, such as a policy against meetings on Mondays or at least on Monday mornings, for example. Other employers might feel Mayes and her acolytes are spot on and decide to make Bare-Minimum Monday an official company policy.

The important thing for employers is to make sure they’re aware of any potential grassroots movement toward a Bare-Minimum Monday and address that sentiment as appropriate for their own organization.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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