2022 was the year of the buzzword.
This year has seen more of the same. We are only two months into 2023, but terms like ‘conscious quitting’ and ‘rage applying’ are doing the rounds.
The newest one is ‘bare minimum Mondays’, which seems to be a re-naming on the Monday Blues, and about embracing self-care by prioritizing wellbeing over productivity, as reported by Fortune. It has been popularized by TikToker Marisa Jo.
I don’t even want to know what my life would look like without Bare Minimum Monday & @spacetimemonotasking #wfh #selfemployed #worklifewellbeing #bareminimummonday #bareminimummondays #burnoutrecovery #selfemployedlife
The question is just this the latest meaningless buzzword? At the end of the day, productivity isn’t linear, does it matter if someone has a slower start to Mondays so long as they get their work done across the rest of the week?
Or is ‘bare minimum Mondays’ a cause for concern for HR leaders, and something they need to tackle if they want to have a productive, motivated workforce?
UNLEASH spoke with HR experts to find out their views on how HR should respond.
How should HR respond?
“There is nothing new about Mondays being an unpopular day of the week” – “the term ‘bare minimum Mondays’ may be newly coined, but HR doesn’t necessarily need to be worried as this is not a new phenomenon, it has just been giving a new name”, states Antonio Fletcher, head of employment at law firm Whitehead Monckton.
Dr Kyle Elliott, career coach and founder of Caffeinated Kyle, adds: “In and of itself, the workplace trend isn’t a threat to worker sentiment, as productivity has natural ebbs and flows, and self-care can actually create a healthier and more productive workforce.”
However, there is a danger in HR seeing this as just a buzzword.
Unmind’s head of psychology Dr Kate Daley tells UNLEASH: “This phenomenon could be a symptom of a broader issue to address”, aka excessive workloads, too much pressure or burnout.
WorkNest’s senior HR consultant Andrew Moore agrees that bare minimum Mondays, alongside trends like quiet quitting, may mask the very real burnout and stress that employees are feeling.
“The popularity of trends like ‘bare minimum Mondays’ are a stark reminder of the challenge that many workers face in finding meaning and satisfaction in their jobs”, adds Events Made Simple’s co-founder Natasha Maddock.
It is crucial that HR teams and employers don’t overlook these challenges employees face – Moore notes HR needs “to address the root causes of the issue and ask challenging questions like ‘are we asking too much of our employees?’, ‘can we work more effectively’ or ‘is slightly more profit worth burning our people out’?”
Ultimately, addressing the root causes of stress will lead to a happier, healthier and more productive workforce – it’ll lead to “greater stability, long-term better business performance and the retention of skilled staff”, according to Moore.
To do this, HR teams need to talk to employees about their challenges, and “work collaboratively to find solutions”. These solutions could include more wellbeing benefits, as well as rethinking work loads or working hours to reflect employees‘ personal preferences.
Daley adds: “Change needs to start from the top; HR, senior leadership and those setting business strategy can tackle this by creating a culture that promotes wellbeing across the organization, giving each employee the support they need”.
“There is no easy solution; [but] by supporting employee motivation and engagement, employers can help banish negative Monday feelings and prevent them turning into a more significant problem”, concludes Maddock.
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