You may have heard the term “Bare Minimum Monday” rolling around the internet and social media lately as one of the newest workplace trends. In the post-COVID workplace trends like the Great Resignation and quiet quitting have changed the way many employees view work. A focus on self-care and avoiding burnout has become increasingly important to some employees who feel overworked and underappreciated. 

What is Bare Minimum Monday?  

When Sunday rolls around, after a weekend of relaxing, employees may find themselves having negative feelings about resuming work the next day. Employees’ nervous anticipation towards beginning their work routine starts to creep up on them and they begin to dread the work week before it has even started. Many employees think about the long list of tasks they need to do for the week, and it takes a toll on their mental health during the time they are supposed to be resting from their workdays.   

To help employees feel less stressed about the work week ahead and have a more gradual transition into the week, many of them have started doing only the necessary tasks on Monday, leaving other more difficult projects for the rest of the week.   

What are the reasons behind the Bare Minimum Monday trend?   

  • The dread of Mondays : 81% of employees find Mondays to be the most stressful day of the week. For many employees, it can be difficult to transition from a more relaxed routine to the stresses of work obligations, which is why many employees do not like Mondays.   
  • Burnout : Completing essential tasks can be tiring for employees after a while. Being burnt out can cause employees to want to take more breaks or reduce their workload.   
  • Unrealistic tasks : When employees are presented with a long task list on Mondays, it can cause them to be even less productive. Workers prefer to use Mondays as a day to ease into the work week, so many of them prefer to only get the bare minimum done.  
  • Work pressure : When employees have micromanaging leaders and harsh deadlines, it can cause employees to be even more stressed about their work week which can cause bare minimum Mondays. When employees are under a lot of pressure, it can actually decrease motivation and productivity rather than increase it.   

How to prevent Bare Minimum Monday 

If you notice employees have reduced productivity on Monday, you may want to consider how that is impacting the overall work culture and whether strategies should be put into place to improve employee experience. Here are a few improvements to consider:  

  • Provide team-building opportunities: When employees work in teams, it allows them to get to know each other better and get work done in a more fun and social way. This can help tackle bare minimum Mondays because it does not allow time for employees to be isolated and unengaged. 
  • Encourage wellness activities: Encouraging mental and physical wellness can help decrease the number of employees feeling the need for bare minimum Mondays. Wellness activities could include workplace yoga, a wall of gratitude, daily step goals, allowing employees to work outside, and weekly nutrition goals.   
  • Encourage breaks: While many leaders may think that taking breaks is unproductive and unnecessary, it can actually be very beneficial for workers. In fact, leaders should encourage their employees to take breaks. If employees do not take breaks during their workday, it leaves them with more time to complete work which will actually lead to employees feeling more burnt out by the end of the day.  
  • Provide a flexible work schedule: 94% of employees say they want flexibility in their work schedule. Since flexibility is offered by many companies and employees desire flexibility, leaders should consider ways to incorporate flexibility at their company so that they can keep up with competitors and retain employees. Some examples of flexibility include allowing your employees to work remotely, not micromanaging, and being flexible with start and end times.  

Bare Minimum Mondays is the newest in a list of workplace trends that highlight the need for keeping employees engaged in the workplace. It is important for leaders to watch for signs of bare minimum Mondays and determine if there are things you can do to improve the company culture and employee experience.