How to Deal With Lazy Co-Workers

If you ever had a chance to work with a colleague that would spend hours online shopping or chatting on Facebook instead of performing assigned daily tasks, then you are probably aware of the situations and frustrations this kind of work ethics may cause. Such behavior at work can affect your work as well if you, as a conscientious worker, start picking up the work duties they missed to complete.

On the other hand, keeping everything for yourself and letting your frustrations grow with such an unprofessional behavior can cause you to burst into anger or to react inappropriately in certain situations. Therefore, dealing with a lazy co-worker in a proper way is a must.

Give them the benefit of a doubt. Keep in mind that the person that seems lazy to you because he is not finishing his work on time may be dealing with some serious private issues. Sometimes work duties or deadlines may not even be so clear, especially if we are talking about new or inexperienced employees. With that being said, it would be unfair to treat that person as a lazy worker or to spread such an opinion to your manager or colleagues.

Don’t let their laziness affect your productivity. Often times it is very easy to fall into a trap and follow their example of chit chatting during working hours or doing some things that do not necessarily have much to do with work. In case you co-workers are bored and they try to distract you from doing your work, do not hesitate to tell them that you are busy and that you have deadlines to meet.

Do not cover for a lazy co-worker by taking over parts of his work duties. By picking up on work when someone starts slacking, you are actually encouraging his behavior. If you decide not to go to your manager or boss to complain about such behavior, the best way of dealing with a lazy co-worker would actually be to leave to supervisors to notice that a particular employee is slacking and not doing his job as good as he should. So don’t help him by doing part of his duties.

Assess the impact of their lazy work attitude towards your personal work. Is their behavior directly affecting you or your work in any way? If that is the case, then you might need to do something about it. If their bad work attitude is not affecting you in any way, then perhaps you should not be the one pointing your finger to others and discussing what is fair and what is not. The manager might already be aware of it and may be taking some steps to resolve such a situation. You do not have to be necessarily aware of it.

Confront your co-worker with his work-related behavior. Depending on his work attitude, he might not even care about your words; nevertheless, try to confront him with unbeatable arguments. Do not let that person drag you into a confrontation – just state your arguments and see his reaction. If he attempts to argue with you about it, then that person might not be worth your time and nerves. Remember that if you fall into that trap and start arguing at your work place, you might be considered equally guilty for unprofessional behavior.

Take the matter to your manager. Before doing so, try to assess your manager’s reaction. If you believe you may leave an impression of an apple polisher, then perhaps it would be a better idea to wait for an appropriate occasion and, in the meantime, collect more arguments. Speak up about those issues, and let the manager take care of things, having more resources and skills when it comes to dealing with a lazy co-worker.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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