Insightful BlogsApril 26, 2023

Bare minimum Mondays

We are living in interesting times… heard of ‘bare minimum Mondays’?

One thing is for certain – businesses operating in the post-COVID era are experiencing some interesting phenomena! As we’re just getting our heads round the ‘four-day week’, ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘the great resignation’, we now have another issue to contend with – ‘bare minimum Mondays’.

Just in case you’re reading this and wondering if it’s a satirical piece about human resource management, I am afraid it’s not. The reality is that social media – in this case ‘TikTok’ – has provided a viral platform for a new approach to the start of the working week: bare minimum Mondays.

The concept is understood to have been developed by self-employed digital creator Marisa Jo Mayes. As its name suggests, this is the term given to an approach taken by a worker who (in the interests of better mental health) sets about his or her tasks in a relaxed manner, with no intention to exert themselves or even attempt to achieve targets.

The media have been quick to pick up on the concept and CBS News online quoted Mayes as saying, “People relate to the stress that I’m describing and the overwhelm that I’m describing. When they hear about the changes that I feel now, they want in.”

Beating burnout

One of the main reasons for this approach is that stress is recognised as a major problem in the workplace. It’s no secret that human resource managers and human capital management experts agree that stress levels have soared and risen to the point where burnout is most definitely a concern.

But we should be careful to assume this is a fad or some sort of phase. Given the extent to which people have identified with the philosophy behind bare minimum Mondays, it is not an exaggeration to suggest that it could be a game-changer in the ongoing employee/employer relationship dynamic.

In an interview with Businessinsider.com, Mayes says the concept “redefined her relationship to work” and “changed her life”.

These are strong words and hardly the kind of talk one would associate with a mere radical idea, escapism or fanatical rhetoric.

The fact is that Mayes has sound reasoning behind her thinking. If an employee prioritised their mental health and wellbeing over their workplace responsibilities, even for just a day – well, if it makes them a stronger, more focused and balanced worker, is that necessarily a bad thing?

Yes and no

From a business point of view (and perhaps that of business leaders), this situation has developed with the focus only on the symptoms and not the root cause. It’s like sticking a plaster over a major wound… not sustainable.

When looking into this topic, we came across an interesting article on News24.com, which explored various workplace buzzwords.

From a bare minimum Monday perspective, the publication quotes clinical psychologist Zamo Mbele who says that if a person is battling with Mondays to the point that they have to resort to doing less to cope with stress, then there may well be a bigger problem.

As with many other trends emerging within the workplace today, there is no easy or quick-fix solution. However, we always advise companies to communicate and adopt a steady, focused and balanced approach.

CRS Technologies is a vanguard of human capital management and human resource development. We act in the interests of both employees and employers, so we are equipped and experienced to explain how these trends can be managed within the confines of South Africa’s labour law.

We are only a call or click away!

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