It was not too long ago that we were all reading articles about the Great Resignation. By the time the topic had been covered sufficiently enough to let it go, a new workplace trend had emerged: quiet quitting. Now we have yet another trend known as bare minimum Mondays. Is this new trend just a logical extension of quiet quitting?
BenefitMall is a Dallas-based brokerage general agency that specializes in helping benefits brokers market, set up, and administer employee benefits programs. The company has published numerous articles discussing the Great Resignation and its many implications. As serious as the Great Resignation has been for many employers, BenefitMall suggests that the quiet quitting and bare minimum Mondays trends could be even more harmful.
With the Great Resignation, employers at least knew where they stood. People resigning to take jobs elsewhere were people who needed to be replaced. It was pretty simple. But employers can find themselves between a rock and a hard place with employees who do just enough to get by but not enough to excel. That is where we are with quiet quitting and bare minimum Mondays.
The Quiet Quitting Trend
Quiet quitting emerged in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic. Between mass layoffs, furloughs, and people being forced to work from home, American workers began reevaluating their priorities. Growing numbers of them decided that they were being taken advantage of by their employers. Without any prospects for new employment, they decided to stay where they were but do just enough to get by.
Quiet quitting continues to be a problem 3+ years after COVID came to our shores. According to data cited by Axios, employee engagement dropped from 36% in 2020 to 32% in 2022. Even worse, 18% of U.S. workers admitted to being actively disengaged in 2022. Being actively disengaged is the very definition of quiet quitting.
The Minimum Mondays Trend
Bare minimum Mondays is the most recent of the three trends. It is a growing trend attributed to TikTok user and startup cofounder Marisa Jo Mayes, a self-employed entrepreneur who first introduced the idea in March 2022.
Mayes used her social media voice to publicly give herself permission to do the bare minimum necessary to get by on Mondays. She sets the first two hours of every Monday aside for things that do not involve the phone or her work. The things she chooses to do during this time supposedly set her up for a positive week.
Being self-employed means Mayes is free to arrange her work schedule in any way she likes. But her bare minimum Mondays trend is not confined to entrepreneurs and business owners. It is catching on among employees. That makes it a problem.
Your Performance May Vary
Are you familiar with the phrase ‘your performance may vary’ in relation to investments? It certainly holds true with the bare minimum Mondays trend. Mayes defends her practice by saying that doing the bare minimum still implies doing what is required. The problem is that definitions vary.
What an employee might consider the bare minimum could be woefully inadequate by company standards. Who gets to decide what the bare minimum is? And by definition, isn’t doing the bare minimum equal to not putting forth your best effort? Absolutely.
Bare minimum Mondays are part of a more disturbing trend among younger workers who have decided that business owners do not have the right to run their businesses the way they want. Axios says the trend could come back to haunt workers choosing to employ it. It is hard to argue against such a position.