Monday Blues: Workers Prefer to Have Work Week Start on a Tuesday

Bringing back employees on a Monday is no longer that easy for global mobility professionals recruiting talent, whether locally or globally. It’s the new office fight — that’s what a Wall Street Journal piece published recently. While bosses argue that starting Mondays creates good energy, remote or hybrid workers are not exactly excited about it.

But here’s one both sides don’t realize. While employees may not particularly like coming to work on Mondays, a study has revealed that employees are more productive and focused on Monday mornings. They only hate the early meetings that they feel get in the way of getting them into the groove of work, especially how they drag on for nearly or more than an hour. 

The unnecessary meetings, usually on the long side, are said to be disruptive to their concentration. There’s the quicker option: having a daily scrum takes a few minutes of one’s time — and could be considered the more acceptable form of meeting as they are meant to last only 2 minutes at most for one person to give an update of his or her workload for the day.

But why is Monday now the source of enmity for many workers other than the meetings? Working from home or remote work has changed people’s mindset about work systems. The popularity of remote work has grown significantly over the years, especially during the pandemic, with many employees favoring its benefits to their mental makeup. 

Remote work also offers flexibility, saves time and commuting costs, and allows workers to strike a better work-life balance. Being able to work from the comfort of their homes or chosen locations empowers employees to manage their time effectively, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

Monday is busiest time

But going back to why Monday is the busiest time for employees — and not a good day to hold meetings? Mondays are filled with tasks that require dealing with clients and urgent issues. As the week begins, there is often a backlog of client emails, inquiries, and demands that need immediate attention. As a result, employees feel the pressure to prioritize client work, leaving less time for internal meetings and focused tasks.

Meetings can be a major productivity drain if not handled efficiently. Many workers find meetings to be long, boring, and unproductive, leading them to lose focus and disengage. Frequent and poorly organized meetings can also lead to wasted time and hinder employees from accomplishing essential tasks

A study conducted by YouCanBookMe suggests that Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. is the most optimal time for meetings. This time slot allows employees to settle into their week, ensuring they are alert and focused. Mid-afternoon meetings on Tuesday or other mid-week days are also considered ideal as they strike a balance between the start and end of the week, giving employees ample time to prepare and wrap up tasks.

New movement: Bare-Minimum Mondays

This could make people think more of having Monday as “Bare-Minimum Mondays,” based on the momentum it has gained on social media, where some employees advocate for a more relaxed start to the workweek. The trend promotes doing the least amount of work required on Mondays, akin to a quiet form of resistance. 

Monday meetings can reportedly hinder deep work and productivity. The office environment on Mondays feels noisy and distracting compared to the peacefulness of home. But acceptance or rejection of Monday office work varies and depends on age group.

In an interview, Stanford University economics professor, Nicholas Bloom, was quoted as 

suggesting that in-person Mondays may resonate more with 20-somethings who desire the office environment and are not as tied to their home lives. However, this mandate may not be as appealing to workers in their 30s and 40s with school-age children.

What to do?Clearly stating the meeting’s objectives and desired outcomes at the beginning helps participants focus on the agenda. By summarizing action items and deadlines at the end, employees leave the meeting with a clear understanding of their responsibilities and tasks.

A balance can also be struck by finding alternate solutions that accommodate both employees’ preferences and company goals. Forcing all employees to attend in-person meetings might lead to resistance and dissatisfaction. Instead, offering the option for in-person meetings every other Monday or adopting a hybrid approach may be more successful.

Workers’ preferences for remote work and Tuesday meetings stem from the desire for flexibility, productivity, and improved work-life balance. Recognizing the importance of employees’ focus and concentration on Monday mornings and embracing smart scheduling can lead to more effective meetings and overall enhanced productivity. 

Scrap Monday altogether? It’s a matter of empowering employees with the freedom to work remotely and participate in meetings that optimize their performance; it’s just a matter of figuring out what works best in a company. Companies should be able to create a conducive environment that maximizes output and job satisfaction, no matter what day it is.