How to Deal With Slackers at Work: Here’s What to Do?


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Do you have a colleague in your team who’s more interested in shopping online, playing games, and goofing around than actually doing the work?

We all have (at least) one lazy or unmotivated person who doesn’t put in their share of work. What do you do in a situation like this? How to handle a lazy coworker?

Should you talk to the coworker? Or complain to your manager? Or mind your own work?

That’s what we’ll discuss in this article. The following five tips will enable you to deal with Slackers at work in an appropriate manner.

1. Show Empathy

Does your team have a member who is slacking off at the workplace? They might not be able to get the work done and be a cause of worry both for you and your team. Leading with empathy is the best thing you can do in this situation. While it is natural to think your coworker is lazy and unable to complete the work, there might be other reasons.

For example, there might be a personal problem they’re going through at the moment. They might even be facing specific issues with their work but are not able to talk about it.

Just go and ask them how they are doing and how’s their family? Sometimes a simple act of kindness can go a long way in breaking the ice between you two. Try to talk to them and understand the issues they are facing. It might be easy to take strict action, but remember that it only takes a leader to empathize with employees and receive their respect in return.

2. Try Communicating With Your Colleague

Communication is the key to succeeding in the workplace. Because we have been working from our homes for the past few months, several aspects of the business including communication have suffered.

Remember the time, when you could walk up to a colleague’s desk to clear a doubt or maybe ask how they’re doing. There was the water cooler chat, which helped you bond with the peers and stays enthusiastic about the work.

But now we don’t have these luxuries. Therefore, it is possible that your employees lack motivation when it comes to work and tend to become lazy.

When you communicate with them, you’re bridging the geographical barrier with them. Not only are you imparting a sense that you’re there for them, but also making them more connected to work. Talk to that employee and help them plan the steps needed to complete the work at hand.

3. Take Some Advice from the Manager

You might get annoyed by a lazy coworker, but there is no point in just sitting and complaining. Remember that the ultimate goal is to get the work done

Many of you might feel that ratting out your colleague to the manager might be the right option. However, it will also come down to the lack of management. Take a moment to think about how you want to handle the situation.

In case you’re not able to communicate effectively with your colleague, take some advice from the manager. Remember that if you handle the situation with responsibility and grace, your manager will be left impressed. And similarly, your colleague will thank you for helping them get back on track.

By seeking advice from your manager, you come across as someone interested in solving the problem, rather than being toxic.

4. Suggest a Better Solution to Manager

Instead of venting yourself to your colleagues, it is best to understand the process that one has to go through. Many times the productivity suffers because a large part of their work is dependent on others. This increases the time to do a task and eventually makes the employee look lazy.

Probably your colleague has too much on their plates and these tasks require collaborating with other employees. Therefore, instead of taking any hard and fast decision, try to understand the underlying process.

For example, if your colleague needs access to a tool that needs collaboration with another team, ask your manager to arrange it for them. Additionally, provide training to handle the tool. This way, you are removing the underlying dependency in the workflow and creating a seamless productive environment.

5. Keep Documentation Readdy

Tried everything? But no positive results?

Now, you have to talk to your superior or boss. But before going to your manager, simply catalog the action or inactions of the lazy coworker and how they have affected your team’s ability to work. Also, talk about the solutions you suggested and how they behaved after that.

But don’t try to be James Bond, it’s not a spy mission. You need this evidences to back up your claims.

Pawan Kumar
Hi, I'm Pawan. I'm an Inbound Marketer and Content Creator at Springworks. An Introvert storyteller who loves reading. I’ve been featured on Jeff Bullas, MarketingProfs, Entrepreneur, SEMrush, Social Media Today, and Many More. Don't hesitate to connect with me on social media.


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