Are Employers Dangling ‘Bare Minimum Day’ to Make People Come to Work?

What’s the best day to get people into work and out of the weekend mindset? All employees dread coming back to work physically on Mondays, but one executive says he convinces his staff to start Monday at the office in order to kick-start the workweek and boost productivity, paraphrasing the Wall Street Journal piece.

In a survey of 4,500 companies’ return-to-office policies conducted by hybrid-workplace software company Scoop, about 300 require employees to come in on specific days. 

Of those, just under a quarter ask employees to come in on Mondays, with many more stipulating staff be physically in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Only 7% tell employees to come in on Fridays, according to Scoop. 

Scoop also predicts that more Monday office mandates could be ahead if the economy falters and workers worry about job security.

Bare Minimum Monday

Monday is supposed to be like New Year’s Day — a good day to make a fresh beginning, but not everyone is likely to agree on that when the past weekend lingers on the first day of the week.

Not all employers still think this way. So some employers are also considering offering a “Bare Minimum Monday,” a more laidback ease into the week by doing as little as possible.

The problem with this work method is that employees may get used to being so relaxed not just on the first day of the week but the rest of it.

It’s also risky if one considers the fact that other companies, even clients, may not be on board with it.  

Also, many clients are already prepared to do business on Monday mornings. 

It’s not surprising if this idea came about as a way to entice back employees to come back to the office — with companies acting desperate as more employees choose to work remotely or from home. 

Surveys says employees are not productive at home

Employers are not entirely sure if their employees are actually working from home. About 80% of employers disagreed that employees are more productive when working from home, according to a Microsoft survey. 

If the anticipation of a new work week is so overwhelming, this may also be an indication that one is in the wrong profession. In such a case, it’s crucial to carefully consider whether the job is suitable for them and if they would find greater satisfaction and engagement in a different field. It’s not only essential for their own well-being but also for their employer, who pays them for five days of work but only receives the benefit of four.

Fortunately, it might not come to that extreme. There could be simple adjustments to one’s current job that can alleviate one’s Monday anxiety. It is advised that employees communicate with their global mobility managers and discuss whether there are any actions they can take to address their concerns or improve their productivity.

Furthermore, there might be certain changes they can make to enhance their Mondays. This could be scheduling something enjoyable in one’s calendar for Mondays, such as meeting a friend for a meal during their lunch break. One shouldn’t be surprised by how much even small modifications can lift one’s mood.

Psychology Today offers these tips to combat lethargic Mondays:

  1. Work for one hour on Sunday. Weekend away from work is precious time for most people, but this strategy also puts some people in an offensive state of mind for the coming week. 
  2. Having a plan in mind for the coming week can already help shift an employee’s mood about their most dreaded day of the week.
  3. Make Saturday the most exciting day of the weekend but make Sunday low-key. A hangover on a Monday is the last thing one needs.
  4. Connect to a higher goal. Encourage employees to think about what can motivate them to spring out of bed every morning.
  5. A good reason to look forward to Monday is to see colleagues who are also friends.