Skip to content
× FreshBooks App Logo
FreshBooks
Official App
Free - Google Play
Get it
You're currently on our US site. Select your regional site here:
5 Min. Read

How to Deal with a Lazy Coworker: 5 Ways

We’ve all had to deal with one before; a lazy coworker. You’ll find yourself becoming frustrated because you feel like you’re carrying the weight. Maybe you feel like you’re picking up the slack where they fall short. Or perhaps they don’t get caught taking shortcuts. Regardless of the scenario, a lazy coworker isn’t an ideal situation in the work setting.

If you’ve got a lazy coworker to deal with, or you want tips on how to handle one in the future, keep reading! We’ve got a list of 5 ways to help you with your problem.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

How Do You Know When to Intervene?

1. Speak to Them in a Professional Manner

2. Remember They Have a Personal Life

3. Escalate Accordingly

4. Don’t Enable Lazy Behavior

5. Offer Guidance

Key Takeaways

How Do You Know When to Intervene?

That’s a great question. You’ll need to review what, or who, your lazy coworker is affecting. If they aren’t affecting anyone, and the signs you see relate to them being a lazy person and not a lazy worker, then addressing the issue may not help anyone.

When thinking about the person in question, you have to think objectively. Are they disrupting the workflow? Are they affecting your work directly? Are they hindering a larger team project? Being able to answer these questions can help you make the right decision regarding intervention. If you decide that the situation does need to be addressed, use the following tips to assist you.

FreshBooks Keeps you organized year-round

1. Speak to Them in a Professional Manner

The first tip we’ve got is to speak with the coworker in a professional manner. None of your coworkers, even the lazy ones, should be talked down to. Speaking with your lazy colleagues in a professional manner can help keep the accusation professional. It’s best to remember that when dealing with a lazy employee that you are speaking with an adult.

When speaking with them, be sure to bring up the importance of teamwork. When on a team, the entire team must function well. This means everyone needs to be a team player. When you address your coworker it’s best to remind them that they are part of a team. As such, the work they bring to the table is valuable.

2. Remember They Have a Personal Life

While we all strive to separate our professional and personal lives, sometimes it can’t be done. Your “lazy” worker in question may not be lazy at all. They may be experiencing personal issues that are distracting them from work. It’s important to remember that this may be the case. Health issues or family issues may be impacting them. Don’t pry when speaking with them. Keep in mind that we’re all people, not worker bees.

3. Escalate Accordingly

Following your private meeting with the coworker in question, only escalate as needed. If the situation does not improve, or the coworker refuses to work, it may be time to make your manager aware. Disputes between coworkers can be tense, and sometimes human resources may have to be involved. Relationships with colleagues are key in making sure a workplace functions effectively. The escalation of a complaint regarding a coworker with lazy habits needs to be treated with care.

4. Don’t Enable Lazy Behavior

Picking up the slack sometimes is okay. It’s what needs to be done from time to time when circumstances call for it. However, it’s important not to enable this kind of behavior in your coworkers. Picking up extra hours to cover for them can encourage bad habits. When you do this, you can be sure to see worse behavior happen moving forward. Lazy behavior that’s encouraged is often referred to as “learned helplessness.” By offering too much coverage, your coworker may pick up on the fact that they don’t need to do as much to remain successful.

Accounting that makes you look good.

5. Offer Guidance

Rather than scolding your coworker, offer them guidance on how to improve. Sometimes all we need is a mentor to assist us in our daily work processes. It’s also important to remember that oftentimes, a voice with compassion will be heard better than one with resentment. When discussing with your coworker their habits, be sure to offer them help. They’ll appreciate it far more than a lecture.

Key Takeaways

No matter the situation you’re in with a lazy coworker, it’s frustrating. Remembering to treat your coworker as a person when confronting them for their behavior is key. Preserving workplace relationships is essential in having an effective business. Knowing how to deal with a lazy coworker can make all the difference.

Are you looking for more articles like this? Be sure to check out our resource hub! We have countless articles that are helpful.


RELATED ARTICLES