(NEW YORK) — Buzzy catchphrases like “Quiet Quitting” and “Great Resignation” have captured frustration among some employees as the pandemic has upended their workplace routines and called into question work as a lifestyle priority.
Now there is a new viral trend: “Bare minimum Monday.”
Marisa Jo, who boasts 154,000 followers on TikTok, popularized the phrase with a series of posts that criticize angst-filled preparation for the workweek and ambition-fueled exhaustion brought about by overactivity on the first of five consecutive work days.
Instead, Jo encourages workers to do as little as possible at work on Mondays, restoring their energy and focusing on other interests.
In a post last month, Jo said she lamented her previous approach to Mondays.
“You’d make a to-do list that was way too long thinking you could over-achieve your way out of the stress — but you never did,” she said in the post. “You’ve always put more pressure on yourself than any boss, so you started to wonder why,” she added. “You knew it was time for something new.”
That video garnered 145,000 views and 18,000 likes. A separate viral post from Jo on the topic yielded 1.8 million views, Forbes reported.
“Bare minimum Monday” marks a convergence of pandemic-era trends: a blurring of the boundary between work and leisure amid the rise of work from home, a tight labor market that has afforded leverage to employees and social media content creators who’ve found a wide audience for workplace frustration, experts told ABC News.
“It’s a perfect storm of the type of expression and dissatisfaction we’re seeing put on these platforms in a very public way,” Brooke Duffy, a professor of communication at Cornell University who studies the impact of new technology on labor, told ABC News. “It isn’t just being posted, but it’s gaining traction.”
The new catchphrase has emerged as the job market is booming, despite high-profile layoffs at companies like Amazon and Twitter.
Last month’s unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest figure since 1969. Further, as of December, the economy had 11 million job openings, federal data this month showed.
In a tight labor market, workers typically wield greater leverage over an employer since they retain more latitude to seek a job elsewhere, experts said.
Meanwhile, some indicators of job dissatisfaction have emerged.
Last year, labor unions reached their highest level of approval in the U.S. since 1965, a Gallup poll showed.
The number of workplace strikes rose 52% in 2022 compared to the year prior, researchers at Cornell University found.
Meanwhile, workers at Amazon and Starbucks astonished allies and adversaries last year, delivering landmark labor victories. Starbucks workers unionized more than 260 stores last year, according to federal data.
“People have been annoyed with their work for a long time, and now all of a sudden there’s a lot of media attention to worker organizing and strikes, and it has made a lot of workers say, ‘Oh, gee, maybe that would be better for me than putting up with this,'” Ileen DeVault, a professor of labor history at Cornell University, told ABC News.
“That’s certainly tied to the tight labor market,” she added. “Workers are much more likely to quit their jobs than get fired right now, and their employers panic if they even make noises about quitting.”
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