Bosses argue that starting off the week in person—instead of remotely— creates good energy
By Anne Marie Chaker
When Jeff Hornstein asked his staff to come back to the office on Mondays, he says, it
didn’t seem like such a big ask.
The executive director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia wanted regular goal-setting
meetings and team-building at the beginning of the week for his 12-member staff.
“Mondays are the best day for it,” Hornstein says. “It gets people into work and out of the
weekend.” Besides, he says, an economic-development group should spend some time downtown
patronizing the businesses it works to support.
Some of his staff didn’t see it the same way. “That didn’t feel like a good enough reason,” says
program director Kiersten Mailler. Research director Mike Shields
pointed to research on the historical origins of a traditional office schedule, arguing that
requiring employees to physically come into work was an antiquated notion.
Hornstein and his staff settled on a compromise: to meet in person every other Monday.
“I wouldn’t say it was mutual happiness, more mutual begrudgement,” Shields says.
Office Attendance Expands
Bosses are making a push to get workers into the office on Mondays as a way to kick-start the
workweek and boost productivity.
Though more workers are coming in on Mondays, they still lag behind Tuesdays, Wednesdays and
Thursdays for office attendance. On the Monday before Memorial Day, the office occupancy rate was
at 45% of prepandemic levels, according to Kastle Systems, which tracks security badge swipes into
buildings across major U.S. cities. That is up from a 41% rate on the same Monday in 2022, but far
from the 58% who went to offices the Tuesday before Memorial Day this year, Kastle said.
A survey of 4,500 companies’ return-to-office policies conducted by hybrid-
workplace software company Scoop found that nearly 300 require employees to
come in on specific days. Of those, just under a quarter ask employees to come in on Mondays, with
many more stipulating staff be in the office on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Just 7% tell
employees to come in on Fridays, according to Scoop.
More Monday office mandates could be ahead if the economy falters and workers worry about job
security, Scoop co-founder Rob Sadow predicts.
“Employers may start to use that as an opportunity to be more strict on the number of days spent in
the office,” he says. “If a company goes from three days a week minimum to four days, there’s a
good chance that Mondays would be that increase day.”
Monday is “like New Year’s Day,” says Sumir Meghani, chief executive and co-
founder of Instawork, a staffing firm that places hourly workers. “You reset your
intentions, set a fresh start. People bring their morning energy to the office.”
Are you in the office on Mondays? Join the conversation below.
Because Instawork places workers in hourly roles—often performed on the weekend—it is even more
critical to regroup and collaborate on Mondays, he says.
“Our business happens to be particularly busy during the weekend,” he says. “Mondays are a good day
to review. There is a lot of collaboration with key business metrics.”
Other in-person days are Thursdays, and Meghani is thinking about adding Tuesdays as another
in-person day after Mondays. “It’s a continuation,” he says.
At AvalonBay Communities, which develops and operates apartment buildings across the country,
Mondays are extra important days to meet and collaborate given the apartment showings and other
activity that happen during the weekends, says David Alagno, senior vice president of human
AvalonBay Communities employees at corporate and regional offices are required to show up to work
on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Customers look at apartments on the weekend and get a leasing
process started. Weekends are also when many service requests come in.
“We need to be prepared to support our teams,” Alagno says. “Monday is a big day.”
He adds that staff members, accustomed to the rhythms of a postweekend workload
in the real-estate business, have been receptive.