How To Work With A Lazy Coworker – 13 Smart Tips

Written By Aleena

How to work with a lazy coworker seems a lazy yet pressing question for many of us. Maybe you have a team member who doesn’t seem to do much work.

Or maybe you’re stuck working with someone who is just plain lazy. Working with a lazy coworker can be challenging.

13 Tips To Work With A Lazy Coworker

It’s important to remember that you can’t change someone else. You can only control your actions and reactions.

When working in teams, everyone has a role to play. And when one team member isn’t doing their fair share, it can make the whole team suffer.

If you have a lazy coworker, it’s important to try to get them to be more productive. Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Start With A Conversation:

The first step is to have a conversation with your coworker. It would help if you tried to understand why they’re being lazy. There could be some reasons:

– Maybe they don’t understand the task at hand. 

A conversation.

– Or maybe they’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. 

– It’s also possible they’re lazy and don’t want to do the work. 

Whatever the reason, you need to start with a conversation. This will help you understand the situation and determine how best to proceed.

For instance, if they’re feeling overwhelmed. You can offer to help them break the task down into smaller steps.

Suppose they’re lazy and don’t want to do the work. Then you’ll need to have a frank discussion about the consequences of their actions.

You can help them understand that their laziness is impacting the whole team. And if they don’t start pulling their weight, there could be disciplinary action. 

You can start the conversation by saying something like:

“Hey, I noticed that you’re not doing much work lately. Is everything okay? Do you need help with anything?” 

2. Be Clear With Your Expectations:

To be clear with your expectations, you must communicate with your coworker. You should let them know what you expect from them regarding work.

For instance, you can say, “I need you to be on time for work every day.”

Or “I need you to start working harder.” Or “I need you to start following the company’s rules.”

Whatever your expectations are, make sure you communicate them to your coworker. They need to know what you expect from them.

Also, make sure your expectations are realistic. Don’t expect your coworker to be perfect. Just expect them to do their fair share of work.

3. Set Consequences:

If your coworker doesn’t want to do the work, you’ll need to set some consequences.

This will help them understand that their laziness is not acceptable

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For instance, you can tell them that they will be written up if they don’t start working

Or you can say they’ll need to work extra hours to compensate for the time they’re slacking off.

Whatever you do, make sure the consequences are clear. And make sure you follow through with them if your coworker doesn’t shape up.

For example, if you say they’ll need to work extra hours, then make sure that’s what happens.

You can say, “I’m sorry, but you’ll need to stay an extra hour tonight to finish your work.” 

Or, “I’ll have to write you up unless you start working harder.” 

You can get creative with the consequences. But make sure they’re fair and that your coworker knows what will happen if they don’t start working.

4. Lead By Example:

If you want your coworker to be more productive, you must lead by example.

You can’t expect them to work hard if you’re not working hard yourself.

So, set the example and show them what it means to be good employee. 

Lead by example

Leading by example will also help build their trust in you. And it will make them more likely to listen to you when you give them feedback.

For instance, you want them to start coming in on time. Make sure you’re always on time yourself.

Or you want them to start working harder. Make sure you’re working hard too.

As a leader, you need to set an example for your team. And that includes being a hard worker yourself.

5. Get Help From Management:

If your efforts to get your coworker to be more productive are not working, you may need help from management.

You can talk to your boss or HR about the situation. They may be able to provide more help or resources.

For instance, your boss may be able to give you additional support. Or HR may be able to offer counseling services.

Getting help from management is the last resort. But it may be necessary if your coworker is severely impacting the team.

For instance, if they’re not showing up for work or constantly messing up.

You can talk to your boss and say, “I’m having trouble getting my coworker to be more productive. Do you have any advice?” 

Or “I’m worried that my coworker will get written up. Can you talk to them?” 

6. Be Patient:

Working with a lazy coworker can be frustrating. But it would help if you were patient.

It takes time to change someone’s behavior. So, don’t expect them to change overnight.

Give them time to adjust to the new expectations. And keep providing feedback along the way.

For instance, you can say, “I noticed you’re doing a great job today. Keep up the good work!” 

Or “I noticed you’re slacking off again. Please try to do better.” 

Or, “I know you’re trying to improve. But you’re still not meeting my expectations. Please keep working at it.” 

It takes time and effort to change someone’s behavior. But it’s possible with a little patience.

You can’t change someone overnight. But you can help them be more productive with a little time and effort.

7. Be Supportive:

You need to be supportive if you want your coworker to be more productive.

This doesn’t mean you need to do their work for them. But it does mean you need to be understanding.

For instance, you can say, “I know it’s tough when you’re feeling lazy. But I know you can do it.” 

Or, “I know you’re trying your best. But I think you can do even better.” 

Being supportive will help your coworker feel appreciated. And it will make them more likely to listen to you.

Sometimes, it takes a little encouragement to help someone be more productive. And we all need a little encouragement from time to time.

8. Be Flexible:

You need to be flexible if you want your coworker to be more productive. This means being willing to adjust your expectations.

For instance, you may need to lower your expectations for how much work they can do in a day.

Willingness to adjust - How To Work With A Lazy Coworker

Or you may need to give them more time to complete a task. You may also need to be flexible with your methods.

For instance, you may need to try a different approach to get them to work harder.

The key is to be flexible and willing to adjust your expectations. This will help you find a way to work with your lazy coworker.

9. Try A Different Approach:

A different approach may be necessary if your coworker is truly lazy. For instance, you may need to give them more responsibility to motivate them.

Or you may need to give them a deadline to force them to work harder. You may also need to offer them a reward for meeting their goals.

For instance, you can say, “If you meet your goal for the week, I’ll buy you lunch.”

Or, “If you meet your monthly goal, I’ll give you a bonus.”

Find what motivates your coworker and use it to get them to work harder. And if one approach doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to try something else.

Some people are lazy because they don’t feel like they’re being challenged. So, try giving them more responsibility.

Other people are lazy because they don’t feel like they have any incentive to work harder. So, try offering them a reward.

10. Be Persistent:

If you want your coworker to be more productive, you must be persistent. This means you must keep working with them even when it’s difficult.

You may need to have multiple conversations with them. And you may need to give them numerous chances to improve.

But if you’re persistent, you’ll eventually see results. And it’ll be worth it in the end.

No one said working with a lazy coworker would be easy. But it’s possible with a little persistence.

And you may even find that you enjoy the challenge. After all, it’s not easy to change someone’s behavior.

But it’s possible with a little time and effort. So, don’t give up on your lazy coworker just yet.

11. Don’t Be Afraid To Take Action:

If your coworker is truly lazy, you may need to take action. For instance, you may need to give them a warning.

You may also need to take away some of their responsibilities. Or you may need to write them up.

These are all extreme measures. But sometimes, they’re necessary. The key is not to be afraid to take action.

Take action - How To Work With A Lazy Coworker

If your coworker is lazy, you need to do something about it. You can’t just sit back and let them slack off.

So, don’t be afraid to take action. It may be the only way to get your coworker to be more productive.

12. Be Firm But Fair:

If you take action against your coworker, be firm but fair. This means you need to be clear about your expectations.

And you need to be consistent with your actions. For instance, if you give them a warning, follow through with it.

Don’t give them a warning and then do nothing. This will only make them more likely to slack off. 

And if you take away some of their responsibilities, give them a chance to earn them back.

Don’t just take away their responsibilities and never give them back. This will only make them more resentful.

The key is to be firm but fair. This way, you can get your coworker to be more productive without making them angry.

13. Be Prepared To Let Them Go:

If your coworker is severely impacting the team, you may need to let them go. This is the last resort.

But sometimes, it’s necessary. If your coworker is truly lazy, they’re not going to change.

And they’re only going to drag the team down. So, if you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, it may be time to let them go.

It’s not an easy decision. But sometimes, it’s necessary.

So here are a few tips on how to work with a lazy coworker. Try some of these tips and see what works best for you.

Conclusion:

Working with a lazy coworker can be difficult. But it’s not impossible. With a little persistence, you can get them to be more productive.

And you may even find that you enjoy the challenge. After all, it’s not easy to change someone’s behavior.

But it’s possible with a little time and effort. So, don’t give up on your lazy coworker just yet.

Last Updated on 4 months by Shahzaib Arshad

Aleena

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