A manager in an Australian firm has chosen to defend her decision to implement a radical new practice in her workplace, despite criticism labeling it as a “lazy” and “entitled” trend associated with Gen Z.
The movement, called ‘Bare Minimum Mondays,’ aims to provide a more relaxed start to the workweek by alleviating the usual pressures and expectations that follow the weekend, as per a report by news.com.au.
What is ‘Bare Minimum Mondays’?
While the specifics may vary for each team, it typically involves allowing employees to work from home on Mondays while focusing on completing only the essential tasks required for their roles.
Caitlin Winter, a marketing manager from Adelaide, gained attention on social media after sharing her experience of introducing this new approach within her team, as per the report.
Winter, who is 31 years old, told news.com.au that, in her view, it offered employees an opportunity to approach their day at a comfortable rhythm and to indulge in self-care by creating an environment of “space and kindness,” setting the stage for a productive week ahead.
New Work Trends
The ‘bare minimum Monday’ trend comes in after the ‘early-finish Friday’ made headlines in the UK. As per a report by the Guardian, data gathered by the job market statistics and insights firm Adzuna showed that over 1,400 UK job postings mentioned a “early-finish Friday” as a benefit for prospective candidates last month.
It’s a new take on the so-called Poets Day habit – an acronym for “Piss off early, tomorrow’s Saturday” – in which workers punch out by 3:30pm on Friday afternoon to begin their weekends on Saturday morning.
The benefit of the Friday trend was targeted more aggressively at junior roles, the Guardian report explained, implying that firms are attempting to target and compete for Gen Z as they enter the workforce.
Employers are struggling to fill openings in one of the tightest labour markets in the UK in decades, it said, following an exodus of young people from work into study during the pandemic and a steep spike in the number of over-55s taking early retirement.
The new trends also come in the face of others started against rigid workplace situations – such as ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘moonlighting’. Quiet quitting doesn’t pertain to resigning from a job; rather, it signifies fulfilling the basic work obligations without going the extra mile or extending work responsibilities beyond regular working hours.
And moonlighting is defined as “having a second job that is kept secret from one’s primary employer.” Nevertheless, this practice is not restricted to obtaining an additional full-time job with formal agreements, tax obligations, and employee benefits.
While the trend, which has also received a lot of mentions on the Chinese platform Tiktok, has been criticised as ‘lazy,’ a recent study conducted by LinkedIn and Headspace found that nearly 75% of employed individuals in the United States experience what is commonly referred to as the “Sunday scaries.”
Andrew Hunter, a career expert and co-founder of the job search engine Adzuna, told CNBC that there is a need to prioritize mental health and well-being instead of pressuring employees to immediately dive into work at full throttle on Monday mornings. He said that this trend is about granting employees the flexibility to manage their workload consistently, ultimately reducing work-related stress and burnout that can negatively impact their level of engagement, productivity, and overall company culture.
So What Does Such a Monday Actually Look Like?
According to the CNBC report, Marisa Jo, credited as the originator of the term “bare minimum Monday” on TikTok, shared her perspective on what a bare minimum Monday entails. During the first two hours of the day, she refrains from using her phone and engaging in work-related activities, instead dedicating that time to tasks that set her up for a productive week ahead. This may involve completing unfinished errands, working on a creative project, getting extra rest, or engaging in exercise—whatever she feels is necessary.
During the work portion of her day, which typically spans three hours, she focuses on essential tasks that can be comfortably accomplished on Monday without excessive strain. Jo ensures that the tasks she assigns herself are urgent, important, or both, while deferring everything else until Tuesday, unless she gains enough momentum to continue. She defines a “must-do” task as one that carries direct consequences if left incomplete, such as something with a strict schedule or something others are eagerly awaiting.
While the concept of bare minimum Monday has resonated with many on social media, Jo acknowledges the existence of critics who view it as a way to slack off at work. However, she clarifies that the term “bare minimum” has traditionally been used negatively in a work context, while its actual definition refers to the minimum allowable amount of something.