With an unrivalled ability to throw a half-arsed spanner into the well-oiled machine that is your office, a lazy co-worker can be the Kryptonite to an otherwise invincible team of Supermen and Superwoman.

That being said, dealing with lazy co-workers requires diplomacy, tact and consideration (along with the patience of Job). As such, a paroxysm of mid-office expletives isn’t an advisable course of action.

To avoid upset and confrontation while still keeping your underperforming colleague on the straight and narrow, check out the following methods of dealing with lazy co-workers for a solution that helps everyone.


lazy people at work


How to Deal with Lazy People

If you’re faced with the unenviable obstacle of lazy people at work, try the following options when addressing the situation to help your office sloth shed their slovenly ways and evolve into a whippet of work rate.


Don’t Follow Suit

Laziness comes in many forms, from snail’s pace working and producing minimal output to blatant procrastination and actively distracting others. The latter of those examples is particularly hard to avoid and all too easy to get caught up in.

Don’t let the work-shy influence your work ethic. Getting repeatedly roped into their antics can breed bad habits that are infectious and hard to shake.

Worse still, these inherited behaviours can ultimately drag you down in terms of output and quality, negatively impacting your own reputation in the workplace.


Don’t Enable Laziness

While it may seem like the best thing to do for the sake of your colleague, covering for a lazy co-worker helps no-one in the long run.

Letting the offender get by without repercussions only increases the likelihood of a repeat scenario, ultimately leading to an increased workload for you as a result.

Meanwhile, your work-why co-worker may be unaware of their professional transgressions and allowing them to ride the coattails of others only reinforces that ignorance.

Help them to help themselves by making them take responsibility for their own work. Lending a helping hand is admirable; doing their work for them isn’t.


Don’t Let it Get to You

Knowing you’re putting in 110% while others float through the week on the bare minimum can be frustrating.

If your paycheque features the same figure, that frustration can evolve into venomous anger by the time they’ve had their third smoking break of the morning.

Try to rise above the hate and don’t allow it to affect you mentally. Anger can breed an unpleasant working environment for all and ultimately reflect poorly on you as a result.


Don’t Take the Rap

While covering for a lazy co-worker is bad enough, actively taking the blame for their laziness is an entirely different kettle of fish.

A lazy co-worker can affect your own success in a number of ways but none more so than when you take the brunt of the blowback.

Putting yourself in the firing line reflects badly on you. This can leave a stain on your personal brand that’s hard to remove and can impact your ability to progress down the line.

Taking responsibility for unfinished tasks and oversights serves to protect only one person – that being the real culprit of the sub-par output.


Don’t Ignore It

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem, and this is never more evident than when it comes to dealing with lazy people at work.

While it may seem like the easiest option, ignoring the situation does nothing to resolve the issue. Taking the time to talk with your colleague personally, highlighting the negative affects the situation is having on the team, can be all that’s needed to steady the ship.

However, it’s important not to present your revelation in a confrontational manner. Angry delivery can be the Mentos to your co-worker’s Cola, and quickly result in an office eruption.

Calmly explain how you all need to work together as a team to achieve collective goals. The “do it for the team” pep talk is great way to inspire motivation without giving them a professional dressing down.


For more office advice and tips on how to deal with lazy co-workers, drop us a line on 0203 225 5120 or get in touch online using the link below.

Get in Touch