Shining Monday initiative sounds great for anyone who likes to party on Sunday night, or just would rather not be working on Monday morning.

Here’s a strange aspect of adult life. Even though Sunday is a day off for most people, Sunday night often is often the low point, in terms of fun, of the entire weekend. That’s because while Sunday night is a night off, the specter of having to clock in at the office bright and early the next morning looms over any plans you make, which often means that instead of going out and really enjoying themselves on Sunday evening, a lot of people end up lazily winding down at home as the sun sinks and their weekend dies with a whimper.

But Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is hoping to change that, with a new initiative it’s dubbed Shining Monday. And just what’s supposed to make Monday so radiant? Companies letting workers take the morning off!

▼ Thus allowing people to sleep in, nurse hangovers, or, as this multi-tasking gentleman is doing, both.

The idea is an offshoot of the Japanese government’s Premium Friday concept, which it began promoting in 2017. Under that plan, the government has asked companies to let employees leave early on the last Friday of the month, in hope of improving workers’ work/life balance and also boosting the economy as busy professionals get a little more free time in which to spend the money they’ve been working such long hours to earn. However, the end of the month tends to be an extremely busy time in Japanese offices, as monthly accounts are tallied and closed, and critics say that this is limiting how many workers can realistically clock out early on the last Friday of the month and leave unfinished projects sitting over the weekend.

So the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is proposing, as an alternative, that companies let employees have the morning off on the Monday following the last Friday of the month. In the concept’s first test run, the ministry says 30 percent of its staff had the first half of Monday, July 27 off, and the wheels of government don’t seem to have ground to a halt as a result.

Considering how universally hated Monday mornings are, and how most people already seem to have an extra spring in their step on Friday afternoon as the end of the workweek approaches, being able to start late on Monday seems like it’d at least as nice, if not nicer, than getting to leave early on Friday. However, it’s worth pointing out that in a February survey, conducted one year after the government began publicizing the Premium Friday concept, only 11.2 percent of workers said they actually left work early on the supposedly special day.

▼ Premium?

While the last Friday of the month being crunch time at many offices is a factor in that low number, so too is Japan’s relentless business culture. Companies may not prove to be willing to let employees straggle in late on Monday, or employees may feel even more pressure to work overtime if they do, so we’ll have to see whether or not Japan’s Monday mornings start shining, or remain as dark as ever.

Source: Livedoor News/TV Asahi News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)