TGIM: What Employers and Employees Can Do to Mend the Monday Blues

There are lots of great songs about Saturdays. Mondays? Not so much. The Boomtown Rats don’t like them, the Mamas and the Papas don’t trust them and the Bangles simply describe them as “manic”. Mondays are about as popular as traffic jams or runny noses. It makes sense; for many of us it’s the first of five consecutive work days after two days of relative freedom, a time to stare down the barrel of the week ahead and the many uncertainties it holds.
But what if we could alter the Monday mentality, even by a little bit? It would play no small part in improving morale and even mental health which, in turn, affects absenteeism, turnover and general well-being. It sounds like a worthwhile pursuit. Besides, if the average Canadian lifespan is 82 years (as per the World Bank), that means well over a decade of Mondays to address.

What Can Employers Do to Improve Monday Morale?

Offer Greater Workplace Flexibility: One of the reasons many people dread Mondays is because it highlights the difference between their flexible personal lives and their rigid work schedules. Jane Smith of Gallup recommends increasing the level of flexibility and autonomy that employees experience whenever possible.
“Work from home or a coffee shop occasionally,” advises Smith. “Demonstrate that it’s OK to leave early to watch your kid’s game and then catch up later in the evening. If your company doesn’t offer much or any flexibility, communicate with your teams to let them know you value them as people and will work with them to make individual requests possible. Create a culture where they’re not afraid to ask.”1
As we discussed in a recent Goldbeck post (insert link here), working remotely is a good fit for some people. Even something as simple as casual Mondays can help people ease into the week.

Encourage Purpose and Growth: If employees buy in to the company mission and have a larger sense of personal purpose, Mondays can be seen as an opportunity instead of an unavoidable responsibility. This, of course, is easier said than done, but there are ways to encourage this type of mentality. Emphasizing the big picture, collecting employee input, and fostering personal growth through mentorship and training are just a few of the ways to create a more engaged staff. These are ongoing efforts as opposed to Monday morning quick-fixes, but an upbeat staff on Mondays would certainly be an indication of a company that’s doing something right.

Limit Monday Meetings: It can be tempting to use Monday morning meetings to set the tone for the week ahead and, certainly, that can be beneficial. But it also strains an already busy morning, potentially compounding the problem. Consider another day for meetings when possible.

Six Ways Individuals Can Learn to Love Mondays

Have a True Weekend: Unplug from work over the weekend so that when Monday comes you will truly have had a refreshing break. For lots of people, feelings of anxiety begin creeping in on Sundays in anticipation of the week ahead. Consciously push these thoughts away. You made it through last week and you’ll make it through this week. Be present on Sunday. There’s no point in allowing the workweek to live inside your mind during one of your two days off.

Plan Ahead: This may sound contradictory to my last point but, by doing some of the small things ahead of time, you can take the sting out of Monday morning. To the extent possible, tie up your loose ends on Friday. On Sunday prepare your lunch and select your clothes. Monday will present fresh challenges, so eliminate the minutia.

Exercise and Eat Healthy: Get a good night’s sleep on Sunday. Plan a healthy breakfast. Walk to work if you can, or at least part of the way. Get your body engaged and off to a good start and your mind will follow.

Focus, Prioritize and Prepare for the Week Ahead: Use Monday to set the tone for the coming week. Start with a clean desktop and a clear mind. Anticipate that unexpected challenges will arrive. Create a to-do list to lay the groundwork for this week’s accomplishments. Schedule work that has tangible results and enjoy the act of crossing them off the list.

Don’t Believe the Hype: Mondays can be a case of mind over matter, so don’t dwell in the blues. Remember that your attitude has an impact on those around you. This doesn’t mean dancing into the office like the spirit squad (others may not be quite ready for that), but perhaps you don’t need to share that anti-Monday meme. We all want to get through this.

Put a Little Self Love in Your Monday: Bake an enjoyable ritual into your Monday, whether it’s before, during or after work. Change up your commute. Tell a joke each Monday. Get an ice cream that evening or catch up on your favorite show. Give your brain a small, but tangible, reason to disassociate Monday from gloom.

All of these suggestions are simply steps in an overall effort to improve your Monday frame of mind. There is no magic cure for the Monday blues but, if there were, the patent would be priceless. The number one way to love Mondays is to love your job. While Mondays may never be as popular as Saturdays, we all hold some ability to improve both our situation and our outlook. Happy Monday!

Cited Works

1 Smith, Jane. “How to Help Employees Look Forward to Mondays.” May 16, 2019. Accessed July 17, 2019.

Other Sources

Vanderbloemen, William. “5 Ways Successful People Tackle Monday Morning.” Forbes. March 13, 2016. Accessed July 17, 2019.

Silicon. “How to Not Dread Work on a Monday Morning.” Silicon Republic. March 26, 2018. Accessed July 17, 2019.

“10 Ways to Fall in Love With Monday.” Wanderlust. August 09, 2016. Accessed July 17, 2019.

Smith, Jacquelyn. “15 Things Successful People Do on Monday Mornings.” Time. June 02, 2014. Accessed July 17, 2019.

Silicon. “How to Not Dread Work on a Monday Morning.” Silicon Republic. March 26, 2018. Accessed July 17, 2019.

Smith, Jacquelyn. “11 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues.” Forbes. September 29, 2014. Accessed July 17, 2019.

Author Profile Picture

Henry Goldbeck

Henry E. Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc, is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and founded Goldbeck Recruiting in 1997. Since then, Henry has built the company's reputation as a leading headhunter and recruitment agency in sales, marketing, operations, engineering, and executive level positions across a variety of industries.

President & CEO at Goldbeck Recruiting Inc.