Bare Minimum Monday-ers be warned. 

BAM co-founder Byron Lazine was recently invited to an interview with Aaron Gilchrist of NBC to discuss the Bare Minimum Monday TikTok trend and his straightforward, honest, and highly entertaining response to it in the April 4th episode of The Real Word

After a two weeks’ delay, NBC aired the segment, starting off with the revelation that the “Sunday Scaries” are an actual thing—according to…a LinkedIn survey: “75% of working Americans say they experience the ‘Sunday Scaries.’” 

In response to this phenomenon, we have the Bare Minimum Monday-ers—those who do exactly as the name suggests to “ease into the week.” 

As Aaron Gilchrist rightly observed, not everyone is on board with the idea of doing the bare minimum to start off the week. That’s when Byron appeared on screen:

I think any entrepreneur, if you have the entrepreneur mindset, that just drives you crazy!

Byron Lazine

From there, Byron shared the type of employee he looks for—whether working for BAM or for his real estate team:

I’d be looking for people who are hungry, who are driven, who want to go there and get better every single day. I don’t want somebody who just wants to do the bare minimum.

Byron Lazine

Aaron then gave the Bare Minimum Monday-ers the final word, allowing them to react to the idea of employers expecting them to show up ready to give 100%. 

One of them explained that “it’s not about doing absolutely nothing. I think it’s about doing enough so that you and your team are still happy with your performance, but you can also keep your mental health in check.” 

That begs the question: How would any professional and high-performing team be ‘happy with your performance’ if you’re doing the bare minimum? 

NBC’s expert advice? 

Make sure your Sunday includes something physical and fun. And try to avoid planning big meetings or tasks first thing Monday morning.

Aaron Gilchrist

NBC news anchor

Well, he’s half right. People do need time to unwind and have fun on their day(s) off. But avoiding or postponing real work on Mondays may not be the way to get the week started on a strong note (ever hear of eating the frog?). 

Having barely survived the “Sunday Scaries” doesn’t give anyone the right to expect full pay for a half-assed approach to their job.

Of course, taking care of your mental health should always be at the top of your list—you need to take care of yourself first so that you can then take care of your family and your clients. But when employees show up for work saying they need to take it easy after the weekend, it just adds to the workload of their coworkers.

There are ways to tend to your mental health without short-changing others. 

What led up to the NBC segment?

It all started with an Instagram clip taken from a recent episode of The Real Word, which started with a replay of a “Bare Minimum Monday” TikTok video, followed by Byron’s and Nicole’s reactions. 

The Real Word episode includes their full responses, which are well worth a listen. 

When a clip from that episode reached Instagram, it collected quite a few negative comments, possibly because of Byron’s reasonable suggestion that those who do the bare minimum should also be paid the bare minimum. 

Assuming the person is an employee—who would have just had Saturday and Sunday off—it makes zero sense to start the work week doing the bare minimum and call it “self-care.”

Bare Minimum Mondays are not self -care

Put aside, for the moment, the disservice done to employers and co-workers. Bare Minimum Monday-ers are also engaging in self-sabotage. They haven’t addressed the root of their “Sunday Scaries,” let alone explored other ways to address and deal with it. 

They’re kicking the can down the road (or into their employer’s face). They’re not solving anything. And the mindset behind this is self-destructive—not self-nurturing. 

It could also lead to unemployment, which would be a lot more scary for many of these Bare Minimum Monday-ers (I’m guessing) than facing another week of (paid) work. 

The “toxic work environment” card can only be played once (or maybe twice) before prospective employers catch on to the real issue. 

Bare Minimum Mondays are not a solution; they’re an avoidance of a real, underlying problem. 

Of course, that didn’t stop plenty of commenters from reacting negatively to the Instagram clip: 

The woman in the embedded TikTok openly admits to lowering her expectations of herself in defiance of “hustle culture.” Here’s what Byron and Nicole had to say in response: 

You’re calling yourself ‘Bare Minimum Monday.’ How is that even self-rewarding?

Nicole White

For all the Bare Minimum Monday-ers, I’ve got a proposal for you: I’ll pay you bare minimum. I’ll pay you minimum wage on Monday since you’re just doing bare minimum tasks…. If you do bare minimum Mondays throughout your career, you’re gonna get to the point where it’s time for retirement. You’re going to realize that social security is not all it’s cracked up to be, and you’re gonna complain about that.

Byron Lazine

Barbara Corcoran’s approach to negative employees

It doesn’t end there. In another episode, two weeks later, there were some priceless comments regarding how Bare Minimum Monday-ers might respond to Barbara Corcoran’s feel-good habit of firing people on Fridays. 

She’s 100% right. When you know that they are not aligned with core values, that they’re not committed to your company. I don’t think you necessarily always have to wait ‘til Friday…

Byron Lazine