Mondays typically get a bad rap. From an early age, we learn that Mondays, the end of the weekend, are synonymous with the end to our fun and freedom. As we grow up, and school weeks become workweeks, we continue to associate Mondays with a feeling of dread. The “Sunday scaries” can loom over employees as they try to unwind before the new workweek. No matter what they do, they can’t stop thinking about the endless to-do list of projects, meetings, and deadlines waiting for them the next morning. There’s a possible cure for this ailment: Bare minimum Mondays.
Give employees more than the bare minimum
Much of the anxiety associated with Mondays is a symptom of burnout. In a recent report, 35% of Canadians said they were burnt out, and work was the main source of stress. Unaddressed burnout can lead to mental health conditions, reduced productivity, absenteeism, and more. Employers must provide what is required to create a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. Initiatives that ease burnout and stress can promote mental wellbeing.
Over the years, more companies have put employee mental wellness at the forefront of their HR strategy, but over two thirds (69%) of employees believe their employers could do more to prevent or alleviate burnout. Bare minimum Mondays are one way employers can reduce the Monday blues and help employees experience an easier transition to the workweek.
What are bare minimum Mondays?
This initiative minimizes the anxiety of starting a new workweek by focussing employee efforts on essential tasks only. Generally, these tasks relate to planning for the week ahead so they can manage their time more effectively. Employees may organize projects, prioritize meetings, set realistic goals, and so on.
Organizations can customize their approach to what is realistic and best for their employees. When planning how to implement this trend in your organization, consider:
- What is essential? Are all e-mails essential or only e-mails that are marked urgent?
- What forms of communication will be restricted, if any? Should employees still be available to be contacted on video conferencing platforms or by text or phone calls?
- Will Mondays be a meeting-free day?
- Will the company provide an extra break or two on Mondays to give employees additional flexibility in their workday?
- How long will these restrictions last on Mondays? Will it only apply to the first half of the day or the full day?
Despite its name, bare minimum Mondays can be applied to whatever the start of your workweek is.
An antidote to hustle culture
To some, this initiative may seem like just a way to get out of work. But the goal isn’t to reduce productivity. Just because an employee rejects hustle culture, doesn’t mean they are looking to not work or are unmotivated. Giving employees the chance to set themselves up for a successful and productive week ahead can, over time, produce great benefits for both the employees and your organization.
Here are just a few of the ways alleviating Monday burdens can support your organization’s wellness initiatives and improve employee effectiveness:
- Increased productivity: Unhurried mornings weaken toxic productivity and allow employees to set reasonable goals and deadlines so they can remain focussed and productive the rest of the week.
- Reduced employee burnout: Employees can set themselves up for the rest of the week by prioritizing their to-do list, which helps reduce burnout.
- Improved employee mental wellbeing: Bare minimum Mondays put employee wellbeing first and help workers prioritize their own self-care.
- Higher attraction and retention rates: Employees show more commitment to organizations with a positive work culture, and job seekers may be drawn to incentives and perks like bare minimum Mondays.
Considerations before implementing
Bare minimum Mondays are a great way to prioritize employee wellbeing and improve job satisfaction, but no initiative will work for every organization. Our FREE Guide to Implementing Bare Minimum Mondays explains how bare minimum Mondays can work for your organization and how to set limits. If implemented correctly, your organization can leverage the benefits of this initiative while promoting productivity.