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Five Ways To Deal With A Lazy Colleague

Do you have a colleague that takes lunch breaks longer than an hour? Do they nap every now and then at their desk or visit the bathroom a little too frequently? Do they leave their work incomplete for you to finish?

Lazy co-workers can impact negatively on your daily work, so we offer five ways to deal with your sluggish colleague.

  1. Find out how your lazy colleague impacts your work

If you are clear about the kind of impact they have on your own performance, you will be able to tackle it successfully. For example, you might find that you end up putting in extra hours in order to complete or re-do their work, which may limit the amount of attention you give to other business areas or clients. 

  1. Directly talk them

Some people may not realise the kind of negative impact their behaviour has on you until you talk to them or explain it to them. If you’re a designer, for example, you can say something like “Michelle, I’ve been redoing your layouts because they are full of mistakes and some are incomplete. Please be careful next time as it takes a lot of my time to redo them.”

  1. Chat to your supervisor

It is advisable to bring your manager into the picture if it becomes a serious hindrance to your performance. The designer could say “I’m spending significant amounts of my time fixing and redoing Michelle’s layouts when she leaves for the day – and this is delaying my own workload.” 

  1. Don’t cover for them

Covering up for your lazy colleague makes it difficult for the problem to be dealt with quickly and easily. Whenever they ask you for favours or to help them with their own duties, decline politely but firmly. An “unfortunately I need to meet my own deadlines by end of the day” will make it easier for the manager to see what is going on. (This is not the same as covering for your office bestie who pulls their weight!) 

  1. Don’t let it affect your attitude! It may be unfair that your co-worker does less than they should, but you need to remain focused on and positive about your goals and achievements.

Related article: Do you have an office bestie?

Image: iStock

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