Created on: March 15, 2013 Last Updated: March 19, 2013
Most workplaces have a diverse group of employees and that means there are going to nearly always be someone who irritate others. Whether a co-worker is a gossip monger, an attention hog or a slacker, we have to find effective ways to cope. Dealing with a lazy co-worker is never simple, primarily because their lack of work ethic could create additional work for other team members. There are effective methods that may be helpful to deal with a co-worker who simply does not carry their own weight in the office.
Taking advantage of a bad situation
In some cases, it may be possible to display an ability to work harder when dealing with a lazy co-worker. This may sound complicated but it is actually quite simple. Lazy co-workers impact projects that are often time-sensitive. Taking over the project - and taking credit for its completion - provides an opportunity to display leadership. One thing to avoid is allowing the slacker to take credit when this occurs as this will eventually reflect poorly on other team members.
Avoiding the situation when possible
Sometimes it is possible to avoid working directly with a lazy co-worker. When supervisors or managers request members to join a team where a lazy co-worker will be participating, consider refusing the call to action. While this may cause some momentary problems, overall this could be the best possible move. When a lazy co-worker participates in a team setting, chances are higher than other team members will have to work harder to make up for their lack of participation.
A private chat may help
While not the ideal answer, it may be helpful to have a private discussion with a co-worker who appears to be lazy. In some cases, a lack of understanding of the tasks required to complete a job may be the problem. While there are people who may go out of their way to avoid doing anything, most people do have a work ethic. Co-workers may simply feel overwhelmed and reaching out may be the best option.
Avoid certain temptations
There are certainly some things to avoid doing when dealing with a lazy co-worker as they will most likely be ineffective. Running to the boss tops this list as it may appear to be sour grapes. Complaining about a lazy co-worker to other team members or the boss is simply not a good idea because after all, the workplace (like life) is not fair. There will nearly always be certain people who excel at their assignments while others never seem to complete simple tasks.
Another common pitfall is helping the lazy co-worker with tasks they have been assigned and allowing them to take credit for the work. Over time, this will simply feed into the laziness and is likely to result in long-term feelings of frustration and feeling abused. Generally speaking, it is never a good idea to cover for someone and let them take credit for things they did not accomplish.
Everyone is different: Some people have a very strong work ethic, others lack any work ethic. Every workplace has a variety of personalities, people with different abilities and people with different approaches. Each person will have to make a determination as to how to deal with a co-worker who is not pulling their weight, there is no simple answer.
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