Female sitting with headphones on at desk dancing

How Bare Minimum Monday might teach us the power of less

It's not always about rise and grind

Written by Professor Gary Martin FAIM
3 minute read
Female sitting with headphones on at desk dancing

It is a familiar situation even for those who love their job. Anticipation of another merciless, taxing working week fills your Sunday with so much dread that by the time Monday morning rolls around you feel primed with stress.

There is a new way of de-stressing when Monday’s melancholy sets in, at least according to self-proclaimed experts on social media.

“Bare Minimum Monday” in workplaces is catching on faster than a saucy rumour racing through the office.

There is a reason why songs about Monday blues like “Manic Monday” by the Bangles, “Blue Monday” by New Order and “Rainy Days and Mondays” by the Carpenters resonate with many of us.

Monday blues hit many of us as we start the working week and is one of the more common problems facing the working population.

The sense of chaotic unease ripples across the week to zap us of energy and impact our productivity in the first half of the week.

If we do not take steps to arrest the apathy that some of us feel about returning to work after the weekend, a manic Monday can quickly morph into a terrible Tuesday and even a woeful Wednesday.

This is where Bare Minimum Monday might help, at least according to its advocates on TikTok who tag their posts #bareminimummonday.

As the name suggests, Bare Minimum Monday involves completing the least amount of work necessary to get through the first day of the working week.

It requires a conscious decision to coast and avoid overdoing things so that efforts can be distributed more evenly across the working week.

Should you jump on the bandwagon?

Some supporters of Bare Minimum Monday go as far as suggesting the trend is about self-compassion and involves prioritising yourself as a person over being an employee.

Its effectiveness, say advocates, is based on shifting one’s mindset about how Monday should play out.

They say feeling less overwhelmed at the beginning of the week induces a greater level of productivity across the rest of the week.

Some workplace experts regard the practice as akin to the now dying trend of “quieting quitting”, when workers retreat from out-of-scope activities and attend only to those tasks on their duty statements.

Regardless of whether Bare Minimum Monday is misguided or on the money, its presence on social media might prompt bosses to reflect on how to get the best from their valued workers.

Trends like quiet quitting and Bare Minimum Monday have made clear to employers that they must work with employees to create the most productive workplaces possible.

In working together to drive efficiency, employers need to continue to be mindful of the need to provide a respectful environment, a reasonable level of challenge, opportunities to act autonomously and a decent level of flexibility.

While many bosses will most likely support employees easing into the first day of the working week to ensure high productivity across the working week, alarm bells will ring when some workers begin to argue they need “Try Less Tuesday” as well.