No matter how you apply it, the term ‘bare minimum’ sounds negative. But what if it didn’t have to be? What if it could be positive and empowering?
Bare Minimum Monday is a growing work trend that first appeared on TikTok. Employees and employers alike typically see it as a negative in the workplace. How could doing the bare minimum work on Monday possibly be beneficial?
But as we know, perspective is everything. Keep reading to learn more about Bare Minimum Monday, why it began, who coined the term, and how it can benefit worker productivity and business overall.
What is Bare Minimum Monday?
Bare Minimum Monday refers to employees starting their work by doing only the required tasks needed on Mondays. Marisa Jo, a digital creator, developed the viral concept with good intentions — to reduce stress and create more work balance throughout the week.
She explained, “I would wake up on Monday already feeling behind, overwhelmed, and anxious — this feeling would only compound as the week continued. I was trying to get myself to overachieve my way out of the burnout I was experiencing, but of course, that didn’t work.”
Tired of the pressure and stress that came every Monday morning, Jo decided to permit herself to take it easy that weekday. Ultimately, she found that her productivity for the entire workweek improved. How, exactly? She discovered that she could increase the quality of her work by pacing herself.
Bare Minimum Monday is a counterintuitive method for employees to improve mental health, reduce burnout, and improve productivity. The gentle start to the workweek eases the usual pressures and expectations that arise after the weekend, resulting in more consistent and grade-A output by the end of the week.
That said, after she coined the term on TikTok, Bare Minimum Monday spread like wildfire and its initial logic got lost. People put their own spin on it, using it as an excuse to slack off on Mondays entirely — posting themselves oversleeping, sunbathing at their pool, and anything else not work related — redefining the phrase as a negative.
Bare Minimum Monday doesn’t mean lazy workers
Employees who embrace Bare Minimum Monday aren’t lazy. In fact, they end up being more efficient. Hustle culture taught us that taking breaks throughout the workday equates to laziness, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Employees who take more breaks work in a way that allows them to be more productive on their own terms without sacrificing their well-being.
The truth is, no one can work at 100% all the time — it’s entirely natural, not to mention healthy, to have some slower days. Bare Minimum Monday encourages employees to begin the week by embracing the natural flow of productivity rather than trying to force themselves to overwork, ultimately burning them out as soon as the week starts.
How can managers encourage their teams to work on their own terms while ensuring they remain engaged? The answer is trust and communication. Managers and employees must have open conversations about their working patterns and productivity. Leadership can set work output expectations that match their teams’ needs.
When employees have the autonomy to work in a manner that bests suits them, everyone wins. Hybrid work is an adequate model to do this as it balances employees with both remote and in-office work options — ultimately supporting the same goal as Bare Minimum Monday, to reduce burnout and improve productivity. 56% of companies reported this as accurate, stating their organizations surpassed their annual targets thanks to hybrid working.
It’s no secret that Mondays can sometimes overwhelm professionals. But with Bare Minimum Monday, employees can ease into the week rather than diving in headfirst. No matter where employees work — from home, in the office, or both — and regardless of how many breaks they take or if they work 6.5 hours instead of 8, Bare Minimum Mondays helps reduce stress while ensuring employees are still meeting deadlines.
So, if Bare Minimum Monday means lazy workers, it’s time to redefine lazy.
Employees are set up for a productive week
Think of Bare Minimum Mondays as a way to protect employees from Quiet Quitting. While Quiet Quitting refers to doing the absolute minimum requirements of the job every day, Bare Minimum Monday focuses on doing less at the start of the workweek so employees can remain productive throughout the remainder of the week.
Think of a marathon. Runners know to pace themselves from the beginning, making sure to start off slow to save energy for the end. Why? Because if they use all of their energy at the beginning of the marathon, they won’t make it to the finish line. The workweek is similar. If employees overwork themselves on Monday, their productivity dwindles before the week ends — just like a runner who starts the race sprinting.
When workers prioritize three to four less time-consuming tasks to execute on a Monday, they naturally witness increased productivity levels. Employees who don’t try to tackle too many tasks simultaneously allow their creative juices to flow better.
Contrary to its reputation, Bare Minimum Monday doesn’t encourage employees to slack off but allows them to pace their productivity throughout the week rather than use it all at the start. This career trend brings the lesson of “The Tortoise and the Hare” to the workplace.
How employers benefit from Bare Minimum Monday
When employers hear of Bare Minimum Monday, most assume it’ll threaten their bottom line. However, leaders who do more research on the trend find that it can significantly benefit their company.
Employees who properly implement Bare Minimum Monday still meet expectations. But rather than multitasking on too many projects while attending two or three critical meetings, they space their workload throughout the week. For example, a worker can use Mondays to catch up on emails, focus only on priority tasks, and prepare for the week’s upcoming meetings. Bare Minimum Monday can be a glass half full, not half empty.
- Better employee retention and engagement
- Enhances creativity and output
- Promotes work-life balance among workers
- Supports employees’ mental health
- Creates a positive company culture
Rather than allowing your workforce to define their versions of Bare Minimum Monday, lead the conversation. Have managers talk to their teams about ways to make their Mondays less stressful. An example of a guide for Bare Minimum Monday is:
On Monday, employees are encouraged to…
- Start the day with some form of self-care
- Not schedule meetings unless it is the only availability
- Work remotely for a portion of the day or the entire day
- Only focus on priority tasks and cut out “busy work” for the day
- Use that time to properly plan for the week to avoid procrastination
- Not stress over deadlines as projects should not be due on Mondays
Bare Minimum Monday isn’t going away anytime soon. So, if you can’t beat them, then it’s best to join them. Instead of dwelling on how employees could take advantage of the trend, find the positives, partner with your workforce, and leverage Bare Minimum Monday to improve your bottom line.
Leading the charge will not only benefit your business, but it will express to your employees that you care about their well-being. And in today’s modern workplace, employees demand to be valued and appreciated more than ever.
Bare Minimum Monday isn’t going anywhere
The concept behind Bare Minimum Monday is to improve employee health and well-being without decreasing output. If anything, workers who embrace Bare Minimum Monday consistently produce better quality work while avoiding burnout.
Bare Minimum Monday has taken the workplace by storm, with thousands admitting it’s the secret behind increased productivity and happiness at work. If the trend isn’t harming your business but bettering it, why not embrace it?