You found our ultimate guide on bare minimum Mondays.
Bare minimum Mondays are workplace trends where employees do the least possible work on Mondays to avoid burnout during the remaining workdays. Examples of these practices include attending only important meetings, starting Monday with a self-care routine, and taking a break from checking emails. Bare minimum Mondays are similar to “quiet quitting,” where employees do the least work required to stay employed. Also, the practice is often a response to underlying issues like anxiety, depression, or work monotony. This phenomenon is also sometimes called minimum effort Monday.
This list includes:
- What are bare minimum Mondays
- what are the reasons behind the bare minimum Monday trend
- what do workers do on bare minimum Mondays
- what are the pros and cons of bare minimum Mondays
- should companies allow bare minimum Mondays
- how can companies prevent bare minimum Mondays
Let’s get to it!
What are bare minimum Mondays?
Bare minimum Mondays refer to a practice where employees simplify their tasks as much as possible on Mondays. Depending on the work nature, the “bare minimum” could be attending only important meetings or taking many breaks during the day. Employees often resort to this practice to beat the “Sunday scaries.” Sunday scaries refer to the negative feelings from thoughts of resuming work routines.
Bare minimum Monday is similar to “quiet quitting.” Both trends involve doing no more than the basic work required. However, the former usually takes place on Mondays, while the latter can last for as long as a worker remains employed. The bare minimum Monday culture is a growing trend among employees working from home and in the office.
The trend went viral after a digital creator, Marisa Jo Mayes, explained how she does the bare minimum on Mondays in one of her TikTok videos. Mayes stated she used to feel anxious every Sunday and overwhelmed on Mondays because of her long task list. Many TikTokers who followed this trend claimed bare minimum Mondays helped prevent burnout and reduce stress. However, several other users believed that this practice reflects Generation Z’s laziness and participants are merely unmotivated and lack work ethics.
What are the reasons behind the bare minimum Monday trend?
Several reasons are behind the bare minimum Monday trend, including the following.
1. Sunday scaries
Many employees experience the Sunday scaries when starting a new week. The Sunday scaries is an expression used to describe a feeling of anxiety, panic, and fear workers feel in anticipation of Mondays. These negative feelings make employees dread Mondays. In a YouGov Poll involving over 4,000 adults in the US, about 58% of the participants claim Monday is their least favorite day.
The worst part is that the negative thoughts associated with Mondays can affect employees’ productivity levels. Individuals who embrace the bare minimum Monday trend see this practice as a remedy for Sunday scaries. The idea is if there is less anxiety about Monday’s task list, then employees can start the new week with enough energy and positivity.
2 . Burnout
Burnout describes a feeling of exhaustion and an inadequate response to work. A leading cause of this condition is overworking. Completing essential tasks can be challenging when employees get physically or emotionally exhausted. An effective way to deal with burnout is to take a break from work or reduce the workload. In one of his writings for Gallup titled Employee Burnout: The Biggest Myth, Ben Wigert noted, “The common wisdom is to recover from burnout by working fewer hours.” Therefore, many employees see the bare minimum Monday trend as a way of dealing with burnout without entirely disappearing from work.
Here are work burnout signs to look for in your employees.
3. Mental health issues
Mental health issues, like depression, panic attacks, or PTSD, can significantly affect employees’ responses to work. For many folks, bare minimum Mondays become a coping mechanism to deal with mental health issues while working. Although bare minimum Mondays might not improve the condition, the practice can at least prevent workers’ mental health from worsening.
In addition, anticipating Monday’s workload can cause employees to panic and become stressed. Stress can, in turn, worsen an existing mental health condition. Therefore, many individuals embrace the bare minimum Monday trend to reduce stress and preserve their mental well-being.
4. Decreased productivity
Starting Mondays with an unrealistic task list can make employees less productive over the week. However, employees who work at a realistic speed will likely produce higher quality work and experience burnout less often. Therefore, workers use the bare minimum Monday trend to train themselves to start work slowly, gradually increasing their momentum for the rest of the week.
You can check out this guideline for boosting employee productivity.
5. Work pressure
Having a lot of pressure from work, either from scary deadlines or an overly aggressive leader, can affect employee behavior. The worst part is that such pressure demotivates rather than encourages employees. Also, the pressure continually builds up for employees who fail to meet the deadlines. In addition to anxiety, employees can start feeling inadequate and even depressed.
Although not a sustainable solution, workers can use bare minimum Mondays to focus on self-care and ignore any work pressure.
6. Work-life imbalance
A notable reason for the bare minimum Monday culture is to create a work-life balance. Many trend followers see the practice as an opportunity to prioritize yourself as a human over a worker. Therefore, employees engage in various self-care activities before or after doing only the minimum tasks required for the day. These activities include reading a book, napping, or doing yoga.
The idea is that practicing self-care on Mondays can help employees build confidence in themselves and their abilities to get by the week. Also, engaging in creative activities can make employees feel productive and boost their incentive to work.
You can check out these tips for improving work-life balance.
What do workers do on bare minimum Mondays?
Workers often do activities that make them feel good, from meditation to workouts. Many workers see bare minimum Mondays as an opportunity to put themselves first as human beings over employees. During an interview with Insider, Mayes described her self-care practice on bare minimum Mondays: “I’ll do some reading, some journaling, maybe some stuff around the house. It’s two hours of no technology—no checking email—just doing whatever I need to do to feel good starting my day.”
What are the pros and cons of bare minimum Mondays?
Although bare minimum Mondays have notable benefits, the practice has several cons. Here are several advantages and disadvantages of the bare minimum Monday trend.
Pros of bare minimum Mondays
1. Prevents burnout and boosts workers’ morale
Since employees are in no rush to complete many tasks, this practice can prevent potential burnout. Workers can start work with a realistic energy level that will sustain them until the last workday of the week.
2. Encourages self-care
Self-care is important in establishing a work-life balance for employees. Most employees who participate in the bare minimum Monday trend tend to prioritize self-care before working by cleaning up their space or even meditating. These activities can boost morale and encourage employees to produce high-quality work.
3. Tackles Sunday scaries
Sunday scaries are the emotions employees feel while anticipating Mondays. These emotions can range from fear to depression to anxiety. Bare minimum Mondays can be an excellent way for employees to avoid these negative emotions. Instead of worrying about the workload, employees focus on personal care. Therefore, this trend can reduce work pressure and make workers feel calm enough to do their best.
4. Increases productivity
Employees who practice this trend effectively will likely become more productive at work. With lower stress and higher morale, workers will be in the right state of mind to work well. Another rationale on how this trend can increase productivity claims that bare minimum Mondays help eliminate burnout. A worker experiencing burnout can hardly channel their creative side.
5. Helps with talent retention
Promoting the bare minimum Monday culture at work can help companies retain the best talent. Employees who believe in doing the minimum tasks on Mondays will most likely feel valued if their companies encourage the trend. Alongside retaining employees, the trend can attract top talent to a company. Many employees usually have an eye for perks that improve their work-life balance, like bare minimum Mondays.
Here are more ways to retain employees.
Cons of bare minimum Mondays
1. Not suitable for all kinds of job
The trend only works for employees with a less defined work nature or schedule. For instance, a bartender who has to serve customers on Mondays cannot successfully practice this trend. The same goes for a customer service representative required to handle customers’ calls during work hours. If employees with this type of work nature decide to do the bare minimum Monday trend, then clients might even misinterpret their actions as bad customer service.
2. Does not work for all employees
The benefits of this trend are not universal and will not work for all workers. On the same TikTok where the trend went viral, many users responded that the practice was not effective for them. Bare minimum Mondays become useless for participants who cannot see any improvement in their mental well-being and productivity. In fact, many workers prefer to be as productive as possible on Mondays to give themselves a solid start to the workweek. Some employees with flexible schedules work more hours on Mondays so that they can take lighter Fridays.
3. Decreased productivity
Although one of the benefits of bare minimum Monday is higher productivity, the trend can backfire and decrease employee productivity. The problem often arises with employees carrying the same “bare minimum” attitude over the week. In response to this trend, a TikTok user noted, “What next? Tired Tuesday, Why Are We Here Wednesdays, I’m Through With Thursdays, and Thank God It’s Friday.” This expression shows that many employees can carry the same “bare minimum” attitude throughout the week and reduce the company’s output.
Should companies allow bare minimum Mondays?
Whether or not to incorporate this practice depends on different companies. If workers in a company believe this practice will be useful in increasing their productivity, then that company can add the trend to their workers’ benefits. However, if a company believes this practice could backfire and transform into quiet quitting, then not allowing the trend can be a great idea. Nevertheless, companies that do not support bare minimum Mondays can opt for other effective alternatives like flexible work schedules, doing fun activities at work, and recognizing employees regularly. With these sustainable options, employees can become more productive without feeling they missed out on this trend.
Here are more ways to have fun with your employees.
How can companies prevent bare minimum Mondays?
Since bare minimum Mondays can backfire and affect productivity, many companies remain skeptical about the practice. Thankfully, companies can use several sustainable alternatives to prevent this trend.
1. Employee assistance program
An employee assistance program is a benefit program featuring follow-ups, counseling, and advice for employees to cope with stress. The program can include helpful tips for addressing the Sunday scaries. Employee assistance programs can also support employees experiencing trauma, divorce, and substance abuse.
Many employees engage in bare minimum Mondays to deal with work and personal stress. Therefore, a well-executed employee assistance program can support workers and reduce the tendency to withdraw from work on Mondays. A Federal Occupational Health study revealed that workplaces incorporating Employee Assistance Programs experienced a 22.8% improvement in work presenteeism and around a 69% decrease in absenteeism.
2. Team building activities
Team building activities are a super effective way for companies to tackle the bare minimum Monday culture. Companies can dedicate a few minutes or hours daily to these activities. Aside from breaking work monotony, this idea can help employees have more fun doing their work. Also, team building activities can teach workers the importance of working together to reduce overall workload and improve productivity.
Furthermore, the activities help employers and employees better understand each team member’s interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Knowing employees’ weaknesses can help reveal factors that make them dread Mondays.
Here are quick team building activities you can do at work.
3. Workplace wellness activities
One of the reasons for this growing workplace trend is mental health issues. Therefore, encouraging physical and mental wellness at work can prevent bare minimum Mondays. For example, companies can incorporate fun activities that improve wellness, such as office yoga day, bring your pet to work day, and field trips.
Also, you can check out these ideas for employee wellness programs.
4. Wellness gifts
Employees will most likely resort to bare minimum Mondays on their lowest days. Whether your employees are sick or having a bad day, you can send wellness gift items and boxes to show your support. This gesture will make your employee feel valued. Depending on your employee’s condition, the gifts can include a guide on wellness and a range of self-care products, from scented candles to teas. After enjoying a self-care session during the weekend or sick period, employees will feel refreshed and motivated to resume work on Mondays.
These wellness gifts are a great choice to delight your employees.
5. Flexible working schedules
Employees can often resist bare minimum Mondays by having a flexible working schedule. This practice encourages employees to adjust their working hours as long as they meet up with the day’s workload. Also, this practice allows employees to work during their most active time of the day. Controlling their schedules, taking breaks during unproductive hours, and accommodating unplanned events can help employees fight the Sunday scaries.
There are several ways to introduce this flexible work practice. For instance, you can distribute your employees’ working hours over four days, leaving one free day for your workers. You can also allow employees to customize their working hours to fit into their most productive hours, day or night. In this Staples workplace survey report, about 90% of workers confirmed that a flexible schedule would boost employees’ morale.
This idea is similar to the four-day work week.
6. Encourage breaks
Companies should strive to encourage workers to use their breaks. A study conducted at Staffordshire University revealed that about 66% to 82% of workers do not always take breaks. The survey’s lead author, Dr. Mike Oliver, noted that employers could address this habit by taking lunch breaks alongside their employees.
One of the reasons employees could refrain from taking breaks is to cover more work. However, this habit can be counterintuitive and decrease productivity. Burnout is among the notable reasons employees embrace the bare minimum Monday culture. Therefore, encouraging employees to take breaks is a great idea.
You can also encourage your workers to take lunch breaks by providing healthy meals during lunchtime.
7. Employee recognition program
Incorporating an employee recognition program is among the most effective ways companies can prevent bare minimum Mondays. A simple “thank you” or “I appreciate your effort” from team leaders can change employees’ attitudes toward work. This program can even make employees look forward to the dreaded Mondays. Also, be sure to encourage employees at all times, even on their least productive days.
You can also promote peer-to-peer recognition on social media, where employees can shout out their colleagues.
In addition, check out this helpful guide to employee recognition.
8. Work-from-home options
If you are yet to give your employees the option of working from home, then you can consider this practice to prevent bare minimum Mondays. Often, companies’ primary concern about working from home is staff productivity can decline. Employers believe employees can easily get distracted. However, A California-based business conducted a study revealing a 47% increase in remote worker productivity.
Surprisingly, the same data showed that Mondays and Fridays remained the least productive days. Therefore, working from home might not make your workers more productive on Mondays. However, remote working may boost productivity overall. Nevertheless, this idea can encourage employees to have a more positive attitude toward Mondays.
You can go through these work-from-home policy best practices.
9. Open communication
Encouraging open communication remains one of the most important steps to prevent bare minimum Mondays. As an employer or leader, you should create a work environment encouraging employees to speak up, submit complaints, and make suggestions. Most importantly, be sure to listen to your employees and act on their suggestions.
Open communication lets you learn why your workers embarked on or plan to join the bare minimum Monday trend. Then, you can provide the most effective solution to prevent this practice while creating a positive work experience for employees.
Similar to quiet quitting, bare minimum Mondays is a trend where employees start their work by doing the fewest tasks needed on Mondays. Participants often resort to this practice as a response to the Sunday scaries. Employees following this trend tend to focus on self-care for most hours not spent on work on Mondays.
Many believe minimum effort Mondays will prepare employees mentally and physically to tackle more tasks as the week unfolds. However, countless opinions also claim the trend’s followers are lazy. Companies and employees looking to follow or prevent this trend should consider the pros and cons. Nevertheless, there are other sustainable practices companies can incorporate as an alternative, from regular team building activities to employee recognition programs.