What to Do When Your Co-Workers Don’t Work - Deepstash
Product Management Starter Kit

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Product Management Starter Kit

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Follow Business Etiquette

Follow Business Etiquette

Don’t gossip or tattletale about your colleagues or immediately approach leadership. Have an honest talk with your coworker that adheres to business etiquette rules. Most importantly ask questions to save yourself a lot of embarrassment.


94 reads

Establish Boundaries

Getting asked for help by coworkers can be difficult if it’s in your nature to be kind and helpful. There may also be times when you find it rewarding to help others — even if it means putting your own duty on hold. And, for some, it may just be easier to help them than to hold everyone else up.

However, if a pattern emerges, determine whether that colleague is slacking off or taking a genuine interest in learning.


57 reads

Learn More About Them

More often than not, you give the benefit of the doubt to people you know and like. Well, you may come to like your coworker more if you actually get to know them and what motivates them.

Let’s say that you have an unpleasant coworker. Instead of assuming that that’s just who they are, you find out that they’re going through a nasty divorce or recently passed over for a promotion. Obviously, this would put anyone in a foul mood.


39 reads

Keep a Record

Track instances where people aren’t doing their jobs over the course of a few weeks. Remember to account for it if, as a result, your own workload has to increase. These details will help strengthen your argument if you decide to take further action.


37 reads

Don’t Let Them Become a Distraction

Avoid focusing all of your day’s energy on the fact that your co-worker is daydreaming, scrolling their social accounts, or aimlessly wandering around. Remember, you only have so much energy for the day. So, when it’s depleted, your productivity suffers.

Focus on your work and tune them out. If this is a challenge, try to work somewhere else where you can’t notice their laziness. If that’s not an option, you could put on a pair of headphones and listen to music that gets you in the zone.


37 reads

Ask Them for a Favor

If all else fails, you can directly ask your coworker for assistance. Most people can ignore a task. But, it’s much to ignore a person asking for help.

Also, this puts lazy coworkers at a disadvantage. They are either forced to say “No,” or to lend a hand. It’s important to remember, though, that laziness doesn’t always imply discourtesy. However, the favor will test their sense of decency towards their colleagues. Also, this is another way to see what they’re good at and passionate about.


31 reads

Be an Inspiration

Let’s say that you’ve decided to try and motivate your lazy coworker. While no easy feat, it is possible. And, it’s if you know their personality types.

Why? Because this lets you know how they respond to authority. And, more importantly, how you can motivate them going forward.


26 reads

Vent — if you must — Productively

There’s a lot of negative association with venting. And, there is some truth to that. I mean do you really feel better after complaining? Even worse, venting can be addictive.

However, there are times when getting something off your chest can be a positive. It’s just all how you use venting to your advantage.


20 reads

Seek Counsel

In the event you have discussed the matter and nothing has been resolved, you may consider seeking outside counsel before taking any further action. In this case, no lawyer is needed. But, maybe you could ask a friend or family for advice.

Or, even better? Speak with a mentor or leader who has been shared a similar experience. It might be possible to learn from their past experiences on how to handle this situation.


24 reads

Remember, Life Isn’t Fair

It’s frustrating to have a coworker who seems to get away with not pulling their own weight. But, ultimately, that’s not your problem. Instead, focus on what you need to get done and how you can be the best you can be. After all, obsessing over fairness, or the lack thereof only leads to negative feelings like anger and resentment — and those feelings are the ones that really slow you down.


29 reads



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