6 Tips for Dealing with a Lazy Colleague

Do you work with someone who takes long lunch breaks, makes multiple personal calls and 2-hour coffee break? Or maybe they naps at their desk, or browse Facebook all day, while you work hard to keep up with the deadlines. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to have a lazy colleague and they aren’t always easy to deal with.

Whining about it to your friends isn’t going to help solve the problem – but there are a few things you can do to improve the situation. Here are 5 tips on how to deal with a lazy colleague from Stever Robbins, a CEO & executive coach and top 10 business podcaster.

1. Don’t let it affect your attitude

Your own performance at work might be affected if you start wasting your time and energy on being frustrated or angry about your lazy coworker. And other people in the office will avoid you if you’re always grumpy at work. An unfriendly colleague is just as bad as a lazy one.

2. Don’t let their ways rub off on you

Make sure you don’t let their lazy behavior such as taking 2-hour lunch break and long gossip session at the pantry rub off on you. If they try to get your involved, just be frank and let them know that you have work to do. As Robbins said, it’s tempting to do the same especially when they are not getting reprimanded for it, but don’t get yourself into the trap.

3. Don’t let their work become your responsibility

If you have a lazy colleague in your team or you guys were assigned to work on the same project together, don’t cover them and pick up their share of work. Instead, nudge them about their parts of the task and the project timeline. Don’t spend your valuable time babysitting your lazy coworkers and affect your own productivity.

4. Don’t tattle

This one is tricky as it might make you bad for “backstabbing” your colleague. However, it depends only the type of boss you have and also the actual situation. Some bosses might think that you should focus on your work instead of worrying about your colleagues’ performance, whereas some will actually take your feedback seriously and take appropriate action. If it’s part of your job to review your colleagues’ performance at work, then it’s definitely okay to provide your honest feedback to your superior.

5. Use the chance to show your leadership

Having a lazy colleague in your team might be the best opportunity for you to step up and show your boss your problem-solving skills. “When you approach your boss, tell him or her that you realized your colleague isn’t doing their share of work, hence you would like to be in charge of the project instead. Next, go to your colleague and let him know that you wish to help him work towards the common goal as a team and meet the deadlines. This sets you as a leader.”

6. Communicate with your colleague

it’s good to have a chat with the colleague before jumping into conclusion that he or she is lazy. Perhaps they are confused about the tasks or lack motivation at work. As Robbins said, “Be precise about goals, deadlines and commitments.” It’s also possible that they are caught up with some personal matter such as family affairs or health problem. 

 

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