5 Ways to Deal with a Lazy Co-worker

Don't let a lazy co-worker trip up your progress at work. Get proactive and fix the problem at the source. Here are 5 pointers. 

Be clear about what's needed

Before you approach your boss about the problem, make sure all expectations, deadlines, and goals, are public knowledge. Plan meetings with your co-workers to check up on each others' progress along the way. When everyone is clear on what's required of them and by what date, no one has the easy out of saying they weren't clear on their work. Sometimes, a little clarity can fix the problem.


Don't let your co-worker buy any more time procrastinating than they already have. When you talk to them, approach the situation like a problem to be solved. Entering the conversation with a pre-made story in your head is dangerous territory. Instead of performance-bashing, which will just put your co-worker on the defensive and prolong the issue, try to understand what's causing the problem. When you help each other, you make each others' work stronger. Don't gossip or complain, it's unprofessional and wastes more time.

Use the opportunity to take initiative

If you're looking for a chance to prove you can handle responsibility, step in and take on a leadership role where your co-worker is falling short. Your efforts won't just put you in your boss and other co-workers' good books, but you'll set an example for everyone. Co-workers working on a project together feed off each others' energy. Einstein said setting an example is not the main means of influencing each other, it's the only means.   

Get comfortable saying no

At the end of the day, no one will benefit from you compromising the quality of your own work for someone else's. Be sure of yourself, and don't change your mind halfway through an explanation. Hear your co-worker out if theyre asking you to do something, but don't cave if you don't have time to help. Train your co-workers to treat you how you want to be treated.

Forget about "fair"

Worrying about what's fair and what's not, workload-wise is redundant. Appealing to "not fair" isn't going to bring about any changes. Instead, focus on what you can do to do your best work, and don't compare yourself, your work load to anyone else's.  

Tags: career, co-workers, Relationships, trouble at work, work place

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