Do you work with someone who takes two-hour lunch breaks, makes dozens of personal calls and naps in their desk chair? Perhaps they frequent the restroom or surf the web all day, while you hustle to keep up with your daily workload. It’s not uncommon to come across a lazy co-worker, and they’re not always easy to deal with.
Carping and tattling won’t get you anywhere – but there are a few things you can do to alleviate the issue. Here are 12 tips for dealing with a lazy co-worker from Stever Robbins, an executive and personal coach, and top 10 business podcaster.
1. Don’t let them distract you. Don’t spend your day focusing on the fact that your lazy co-worker is constantly checking Facebook, texting or snoring at the desk next to yours. Try to tune them out and focus on your work. “Human beings are funny that way,” Robbins says. “We will spend more time focusing on the fact that our colleague isn’t doing their work than it would take to just do it ourselves.”
2. Don’t get caught up in the issue of fairness. Life isn’t fair. “People often say ‘it’s unfair that he gets away with doing nothing,’ but at the end of the day, it really doesn’t change anything,” Robbins says. “By pointing out that it’s not fair, we just make ourselves feel bad and the situation doesn’t change.” Instead, focus on being the best that you can be.
3. Decide who you want to be. “These tips are really all about behavior, but there’s a more important question: Who do you want to show up as in your life?” he says. “Think of the people you deeply admire, and what personal qualities make them admirable? Regardless of the practical implications of your actions, ask yourself how the ‘Ideal You’ would deal with the situation. You’ll behave very differently with Chuck Norris as your role model then with Ghandi as your role model.” Sometimes, who you are as a person is more important in determining your actions than momentary concerns of a specific situation.
4. Don’t let it affect your attitude. If you waste your time and energy on being angry or annoyed about your lazy colleague, your work performance may start slipping and you may be less pleasant to be around. A hostile colleague is just as bad as a lazy one.
5. Don’t tattle. That might make you look like a apple polisher, so don’t do it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up. “This one is tricky,” he warns. “It depends on the situation and the boss. Some bosses might say, ‘Thanks for letting me know. I’ll investigate,’ while others may tell you, ‘It’s not your job to worry about your co-workers’ performance.’ It could make you look bad. But if you go to your boss and say, ‘I’m at a point where I can’t go any further with this project because I’m waiting for Bill to finish his part. What can we do about this?,’ it gets the point across without your seeming like a tattler.” If they explicitly ask you to review your co-workers’ performance, you should be honest, Robbins suggests.
6. Don’t let their ways rub off on you. Don’t get sucked into their routine of two-hour lunch breaks and dozens of trips to the restroom or water cooler. If they start chatting with you, let them know you’re busy. “It’s tempting to follow their lead if they are getting away with it, but don’t fall into that trap,” he says.
7. Don’t let their work become your responsibility. If you’re on the same team or share the same responsibilities, don’t pick up the work they aren’t doing. Remind them of tasks and deadlines, but don’t let babysitting your lazy colleagues consume too much of your valuable time.
8. Don’t let them affect your success. A lazy colleague can hinder your progress. If your boss notices work isn’t getting done, don’t let the blame fall on you. This is your opportunity to speak up, if you haven’t done so already.
9. Use the opportunity to become a leader. This may be your chance to really step up and prove you can deal with difficult situations. “When you go to your boss, tell him or her that you’ve noticed your colleague isn’t getting their work done, so you would like the opportunity to be a leader. Then, approach your colleague and say you want to help him meet goals and deadlines. This frames you as a leader.”
11. Communicate with your co-worker. He or she might not be lazy. Instead, they might be unclear of their tasks and deadlines. “Be clear about goals, deadlines and commitments,” Robbins suggests. “Sometimes it’s not that they’re lazy, it’s that they don’t have a good way of organizing their work or managing their time.” There’s always a chance that they’re preoccupied with a personal matter, too. “We need to remember that life happens,” he says. They could be distracted by a health issue or family problem.
12. Don’t say yes to projects that require your co-worker to work at full capacity. If your co-worker is chronically lazy and nothing or no one—not you, not your boss—has been able to make a difference, proactively work this into how you plan, Robbins says. “When you’re given a project where you’ll have to depend on your lazy co-worker, factor their anticipated laziness into your schedule. Don’t agree to a time frame that assumes they’ll deliver,” he adds. You can also use this as an opportunity to ask for more resources. “For example, you can say, ‘Hey, boss, I’m afraid I won’t be able to finish the project by June with the current resources.’ You’re boss might respond, ‘But you have Bob.’ Tell him, ‘Yes, but given the pace of Bob’s work, I don’t think he can deliver what we’ll need in the time frame we’ll need it.’ Best case, you’ll get the resources you need. Worst case, you’ve implicitly raised the issue of Bob’s performance with your boss in a non-aggressive way.”
Source – http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/01/12-tips-for-dealing-with-a-lazy-co-worker/#50868c833dc9