Most will be acquainted with the pangs of anxiety felt at the end of a weekend, when all of the tasks for the coming week come flooding back into focus.
However, far from Mondays being a day of catching up and forging a path of productivity for the week ahead, a new trend, coined ‘Bare Minimum Mondays’ is being used among younger generations, who seemingly identify the first working day of the week as a write-off.
The new trend is at odds with prior perceptions of Friday as the day of the week in which productivity takes a dive, due to an impending weekend and exhaustion from the working week. Previous data from Hays found that only 16.7% of tasks are accomplished on a Friday, whilst Monday accounted for over 20% of our weekly output.
What’s changing the dynamic among younger workers?
The term was first coined by Marisa Jo, a TikToker, who describes it as a way for her to quell the work pressure and hold herself accountable to “completing the least amount of work necessary to get by that day.”
Jo’s perspective is obviously shared by many; her latest video discussing ‘Bare Minimum Mondays’ has already racked up a total of 670,000 views, whilst the hashtag #bareminimummondays has about 1.8million views and counting.
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Her justification of the trend he’s helped to promote is the worrying increase of burnout cases, especially among those who are relatively new to the workplace. In a video she described the trend as “rejection of all the pressure I felt on Sunday and Monday,” and instead “prioritising well-being over productivity,” rather than giving in to ‘hustle culture’.
“I had to tell myself to do the bare minimum in order to not make myself sick over how productive I was being,” she says in the video.
‘Address the root cause’
Speaking on Bare Minimum Mondays, Andrew Moore, Senior HR Consultant at employment law and HR consultancy firm, WorkNest, told HR Grapevine that the threat to wellbeing is currently very real, and could lead to much worse issues than a loss of productivity.
“Mental and physical burnout caused by workplace stress and pressure is real. As a result of workplace demands, stress and pressure, employees can develop diagnosable mental health conditions, general anxiety disorders, depression etc.
Moore noted that, whilst some employers have responded with help via employee assistance programs (EAPs) and mental health support, much more needs to be done to prevent the trend becoming a greater crisis.
“Taking the time to address the root cause of the stress will lead to greater stability, longer-term better business performance and the retention of skilled staff. It may also reduce the need to spend money on EAP or other costly but little-used services by reducing the need for them,” Moore concluded.