Do you work with someone who often disappears from the office, takes extended lunchbreaks, or makes lots of personal calls all day?
Conservative ex-deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has risked causing controversy by blaming the productivity gap between the UK and other countries on the laziness of British workers! I think that’s an extreme observation personally, but have you come across lazy colleagues? People that frequent the rest room or surf the web all day, whilst you fail to keep up with your daily workload?
It’s not uncommon to come across a lazy co-worker, and they are not always easy to deal with.
Moaning and whining probably won’t get you anywhere – but there are a few things you can do to lessen the problem.
Here are 5 great tips for dealing with them:-
1. Don’t get distracted
Don’t spend your whole day focusing on the fact that your lazy colleague is constantly checking Facebook, texting or making yet another private call at the desk next to yours.
Try to tune them out and focus on your own work. People are funny that way – and we will spend more time focusing on the fact that a colleague isn’t doing their work than it would take to just do it ourselves.
2. Decide who you want to be
These tips are really all about behaviour, byte there a more important question.
Who do you want to show up as in your life?
Think of the people you really 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 Bruce Willis as your role model that 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.
3. Don’t whine
Whining may only make you be seen as a ‘jobsworth’ type who has nothing better to do than tell tales, so don’t do it. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up.
This one is tricky and it really 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.
However 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 Tom to finish his part, what can we do about this?” it gets the point across without you seeming like whiner.
If they explicitly ask you to review your co-workers’ performance, then you should be honest and factual about what you have personally seen and experienced (not what others may have told you).
4. Don’t let their ways rub off
Forget the mind-set of ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’.
Don’t get sucked into their routine of extended lunch breaks and dozens of trips to the restroom or water cooler. If they start chatting with you, close the conversation down quickly by letting them know you are busy.
It may be tempting to follow their lead if they are getting away with it, but don’t fall into that trap.
He or she may not be lazy. Instead, they might just be very unclear of their tasks, goals and deadlines. Sometimes it’s not that they are lazy, it’s just that they don’t have a very good way of organising and prioritizing 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, and they could be distracted by a health issue or a family problem.
Want to read the rest of the Top Tips for dealing with a lazy colleague?
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