Are You Recognizing Bare Minimum Mondays?
Bare minimum Mondays is the newest, buzzy catchphrase to further illustrate the malaise among Gen Z workers. Those who are practicing bare minimum Mondays do as little as possible on the first day of the week to ease themselves into it. They pace themselves, so they do not get flustered or stressed from day one of the workweek.
This is another example of younger people focusing more on mental health and wellness. The idea is to make self-care the number one priority for the week instead of getting a jump on projects, emails, and meetings, which is what used to happen.
“Bare minimum Monday was my response to all the pressure I felt every Sunday and Monday,” says Marisa Jo, the TikTok influencer (itsmarisajo) who is credited with coining the term, in a video. “It’s me rejecting the idea that my productivity is more important than my well-being.”
Why Do Bare Minimum Mondays Exist?
Human Resources can add bare minimum Mondays to the ever-growing list of TikTok-created practices. Many older people – including managers and employers themselves – keep hearing about these new habits like quiet quitting and rage applying, and they attribute them to the laziness and entitlement of the latest generation to enter the workforce. This is fallacy. Why not look at it from the perspective of the young? Why are they inventing phrases to describe these habits that fly in the face of impressing their bosses? What is really behind bare minimum Mondays?
Whether Millennials, Gen X, or Baby Boomers like it or not, they must take a look in the mirror to understand where this is coming from. Once upon a time, employers and employees would build relationships over years, and people even retired at the company, where they launched their career. There was such a thing as a 25th work anniversary, for example. Those days are long gone. Even many in Gen X never experienced such a work family.
In fact, calling co-workers family is frowned upon in most circles. After all, layoffs and getting fired are not typical in most families. They have become more common over the years. Anyone checking LinkedIn lately knows that tech companies, some of which regularly make the list of best employers like Amazon and Microsoft, are continuously making layoffs. Alphabet, the company associated with Google, is getting heat for how it laid off women who had just been approved for maternity leave because it left the pregnant, laid-off employees without access to the medical facility they had been using or their health insurance at a critical time, according to CNBC.
Gen Z’s Point of View on the Buzzy Catchphrases
These resentments fester and build. When the relationship becomes purely transactional, which is how it is for most employers and employees nowadays, the risk is something akin to bare minimum Mondays and quiet quitting. Why should someone go out of her way and do extra if the reward is never coming? Actually, there may be a punishment, like getting laid off, around the corner.
“America remains the most overworked developed nation in the world. Productivity per employee has increased by 434% since 1950, email and Slack make it harder than ever to switch off after hours, yet the supposed rewards – like buying property – are increasingly out of reach,” writes Holly Thomas on CNN.com.
Thomas, who is a Millennial, makes the point that her generation followed the rules and paid their dues because Gen X and Baby Boomers promised the gold at the end of the rainbow. Then, it didn’t turn out quite how they expected. The Great Recession and stagnant salaries made it impossible to own homes or gain wealth. So, Gen X sees the struggle of Millennials alongside their measly paychecks and student debt and thinks, “Why should I push hard to get everything done on a Monday morning?”
Older Generation’s Point of View on the TikTok Trends at Work
Employers argue that there is reward for going above and beyond. After all, people still go through performance reviews and can get raises or bonuses (at least when times are good). Leaders recognize outstanding work. They applaud workers sometimes publicly and make referrals about skillsets on LinkedIn.
“From an employer’s perspective, the idea of bare minimum Monday might raise concerns about workplace productivity and a hustle culture mentality,” according to a blog on EmpMonitor. “After all, employers are paying their employees for five days of work, and some may see taking it easy on Monday as slacking off.”
In addition, many Human Resources leaders are making workplace transformation a priority. They are offering unlimited PTO, four-day workweeks, and other innovative benefits and perks. Certainly, salaries went up as employees gained leverage during the Great Resignation period in the second year of the pandemic.
Still, employers must reflect on what this means about employee engagement, morale, and ultimately retention. They need to rebuild trust. Also, bare minimum Mondays and quiet quitting might not be about laziness. They might just be about enhancing work-life balance, shifting priorities, and choosing to define one’s self by something than her job title. It also might be about knowing one’s value. Perhaps, it is about ensuring that the work that is done is equivalent to the pay grade. Nothing more. Nothing less.