5 Active Ways to Deal With a Lazy Co-Worker
Life at work can be difficult enough without having to deal with a coworker who isn't pulling his weight. This person can do a lot of damage to workplace morale, not to mention the team's overall success. You don’t have to just suffer in silence, though. There are ways you can deal with a lazy co-worker, and none of them involve you running screaming from the building.
Your office is probably filled with all types of people. Having a variety of personalities on a team can be great for keeping ideas fresh and providing a superior product by playing to everyone’s strengths. But if even one of the personality types on your team can be described as “lazy,” everyone suffers. Here are five ways you can make sure you and everyone else around you isn’t dragged down by a lazy co-worker:
First and foremost, you need to stay focused. Don’t spend all day feeling angry and bitter that the guy next to you is getting away with posting desk photos on Facebook or taking the world’s longest lunch. Worrying about how unfair it is won’t solve the problem and it won’t get your work done. Besides, becoming the hostile co-worker will make you just as undesirable as the lazy co-worker. Also, don't let him suck you into his vortex of procrastination and work avoidance. Keep doing your job to the best of your ability and find constructive ways to deal with your sluggish colleague. This will help you and your team.
The next thing you need to do is not let your lazy co-worker affect your success. This means, if the lack of work product on his part is getting in the way of you meeting deadlines and successfully completing your tasks, it’s time to speak up and confront the issue. Also, you can’t let your work suffer by taking on his work to make sure everything is getting done. If you are silently picking up slack, your own work will suffer, as well as your morale while you get more and more stressed out about the situation. The last thing you should do is another person’s job.
If a co-worker’s lack of motivation and limited results are getting in the way of your job or your team’s success, you need to confront the issue. First, try communicating with your co-worker to let him know how his laziness is affecting everyone else. Make sure you approach this in a polite and supportive way without going on the attack or making it personal. If that doesn’t help, or if you’re not comfortable confronting your colleague, you need to speak with your boss. But be careful that you don’t seem like a tattletale. You should only bring this issue up to your boss if it’s affecting project deadlines or work you take part in. If it doesn’t have an effect on your job, it’s not your business. Again, keep the conversation polite and focused on making sure your team and company are successful.
When confronting the issue of a lazy co-worker, either with the colleague herself or with your boss, be specific. Use evidence to show her or your boss how the lack of work has delayed projects or caused lost revenue. Don’t focus on detailed specifics of when your colleague was lazy, as keeping track of his will make you seem like a busybody who isn’t focusing on your own work. But if you have specific examples of how his slow methods of getting things done have caused issues will help him and your boss understand exactly how big a problem this is.
Finally, when you have a co-worker who you think is being lazy or shirking his duties, be patient. If you’re remaining focused on your own work, you’re already halfway there. But, remember, when you confront the issue, you don’t know what’s going on with this person. You have no idea what’s on his mind or why he may not be delivering at work. You have to listen to his side of the story and keep an open mind about why he isn’t working at his best level. You may even be able to help. Also, if you bring the issue to your boss, coming across as a patient and supportive team member will make you look much better than if you come in with guns blazing and a negative attitude.