‘Monday Blues’ are real and they impact productivity, says study


PENNSYLVANIA: The mundane ‘Monday blues effect’ after the weekend might actually be a scientific phenomenon, suggests a new study.

The researchers from the Lehigh University’s College of Business conducted the study which was published in the journal – Information Systems Research.

Researchers have found that the ‘Monday Effect’ – that letdown of returning to work after a weekend, which is documented to impact finance, productivity and psychology – also negatively affects supply chains.

After the study, researchers found that process interruption that occurs when operations are shut down over the weekend, along with human factors like the ‘Monday blues,’ hurt supply chain performance on Mondays.

That means a longer time between when a purchase order is received and when it is shipped, as well as more errors in order fulfilment.

It’s the first study to look at the impact of the ‘Monday Effect’ on supply chains, the sequence of processes that move a product or service from creation to customer.

Researcher Oliver Yao and his colleagues used a dataset of more than 800,000 transaction records gathered during a 12-month period from the U.S. General Services Administration to look at variations in operations performance by days of the week.

They also analyzed order and fulfilment data from one of the largest supermarket chains in China.

Researchers found the “Monday Effect” was prevalent and significant.

Weekends create bottlenecks at distribution centres that are tackled on Mondays as orders are processed, picked, staged and shipped to customers.

Humans completing processing activities are impacted by adjusting to returning to work, more prone to errors and less efficient.

Most supply chain managers are unaware of this impact, Yao said. But they can take steps to counteract the ‘Monday effect.’

Strategies for combating the ‘Monday effect’ include increased staffing on Mondays (or any day returning from a break, including holidays), fewer Monday meetings and non-fulfilment activities, better training, additional pay or mood-lifters such as free coffee or motivational talks, and double-checking Monday work.

The most effective way to reduce the Monday performance gap is integrating technology solutions, such as automated order processing systems, said researchers, who found using electronic markets can improve Monday performance by as much as 90 per cent.

The technology was most useful in orders of specialized, less-frequently purchased or high-value products, about which employees might be less knowledgeable.

“Technology is more helpful in substituting for labour when humans are more prone to making mistakes,” the researchers said.

“Computer-to-computer links avoid potential human effects resulting from the weekend break,” they added.

After all, for computers and machines, Mondays are just another day. (ANI)