The do’s and don’ts of dealing with a lazy coworker


There is one in every workplace. Maybe it’s the person in the office beside yours, or worse yet, maybe it’s your boss. There is no avoiding… the lazy coworker. But there are ways to deal with them. We’re exposed to a wide range of characters and personality types throughout our careers in the Toronto job market.

While the lazy coworker may feel like a daily obstacle, and perhaps a source of resentment in your workplace, they shouldn’t hold you back from being your best.

DON’T let their lack of motivation lower your own standards.

Just because someone else gets away with doing the bare minimum doesn’t mean you should reduce your productivity to their level. Bad habits are hard to break.

Don’t let yourself be demotivated.

Very few successful careers were built on mediocrity.

DO stay focused on your goals.

We all motivate ourselves differently. Figure out what drives you and keep your eye on the prize. Don’t let someone else’s negative work habits or poor attitude rub off on you. Being productive is highly satisfying, regardless of the output of those around you.

DON’T make it your responsibility to expose them.

Throwing a coworker under the bus doesn’t usually end well. Bad feelings and animosity can become a distraction and make it even more difficult for you in the long run. It’s certainly not your responsibility to pick up the slack either, but think of their lack of initiative as an opportunity for you to step up your own game. Take initiative and complete projects that showcase your talents, and ultimately set a higher standard in your workplace.

DO see if you can improve the situation.

Sometimes we don’t always have the full picture. Perhaps your coworker is overwhelmed with too many tasks, or a lack of efficiency is holding them back from performing at their full ability. Try to keep the lines of communication open so you have an accurate perception of what’s really going on.

DON’T gossip with your other coworkers.

There is no doubt that a lazy team member can cause frustration in the workplace, but save your venting for a friend or your significant other. You never know if what you say might get back to the subject of your annoyance, and it’s quite possible that feelings will get hurt along the way. As difficult as it might be, stay professional and keep your personal opinions to yourself.

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