11 Strategies on How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers in 2020

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How to deal with lazy coworkers? Because most of the people at work display laziness as their quality trait. For example, in school, you always prayed, “Please God don’t make Tim my partner”. At the workplace, you dread when a lazy coworker is put in your team!

But lazy coworkers are innovative thinkers and have a creative streak which can be beneficial for your organization.

Therefore, let’s dive into how to deal with lazy coworkers in today’s blog.

How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers? 5 Effective Steps And Pro Tips

1. How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers – Approach Them Professionally

The first step to address a lazy co-worker is to approach him/her professionally. It means that don’t let the management in. Tell them the rules to work if they are in your team. Define the penalties which they might face if they don’t leave their laziness for good.

Secondly, do not be angry with them. Being angry will escalate the situation into a full-blown argument and the result will be the in-completion of the project.

Therefore, you have to be patient and analyze the whole situation. Try telling them in their “language” that being lazy isn’t the option here. Make your lazy coworkers realize that if they keep up with their lethargic behavior, they might get fired. 

Approach Your Lazy Coworker Professionally


2. How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers – Put Yourself In Their Place

Okay, so one never knows what’s happening with another person in his personal life. Therefore, you need to have an open mind about how your coworker’s laziness affects your work because you don’t know what is causing him to be like this. 

So you need to have an open discussion with your coworker. For instance, he might be dealing with some family crisis at home that is causing him to arrive late at work and is affecting his performance. As a responsible employee here, you should talk it out with him and counsel him so that he can display his professional behavior at his best. 

Therefore, an effective step in dealing with your coworker is to try putting yourself in their shoes and you will get to the core of the problem. 


3. How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers – Seek Confirmation From Other Colleagues

Is it only you who thinks your coworker is lazy? Or the whole office thinks like this? In either case, you must consult your colleagues’ reviews on the specific lazy coworker. Ask them if they find him lazy too or is it just you overthinking?

Your colleagues’ reviews, in this case, are very crucial. Firstly, because talking behind someone’s back is bad and you must find a way to manage the situation accurately. Secondly, things like these always find a way to resurface and therefore, your relation with your colleagues might suffer badly. So all in all, you have to manage all the workplace complaints with accuracy and a lot of insight. 

You should proceed with caution and seek guidance in is regard, if it is available. 

Confirm With Your Colleagues About Your Coworker’s Behavior

4. How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers- Talk To Your Boss

Remember, your boss isn’t interested in hearing your petty complaints or office inefficiencies because he hired you for that. But, still, if the situation needs the intrusion of a Boss here then do inform him. 

Firstly, approach with the utmost professionalism and project your case strategically. Start by saying that your coworker’s laziness is badly affecting the company’s performance. Do not let the case’s direction steer towards your personal discomfort. Show him it is all about the company.

Let your boss know that you tried to handle the situation privately but to no avail. Then show them how and in what aspects that lazy coworker is hurting the company. Do whatever the best you can and let the management take the ultimate decision

how to deal with lazy coworkers?
Talk To Your Boss If You Can’t Handle The Situation

5. How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers – Document The Entire Process

Well, there’s no ledger in an office where you can record a person’s laziness! Therefore, try writing out the entire process of your analysis. The lazy coworker’s behaviors, changing patterns in his arrival and departure, work performance and etc. 

Catalog whatever you notice and how the actions of others have affected the company. 

So having some sort of written proof will show a diligent attitude on your part and will act as a proof if the management decides to investigate the matter. 

how to deal with lazy coworkers
Write Down The Entire Process Of Your Analysis

6 Strategies On How To Deal With A Lazy Coworker?

1. Do Not Become Influenced By Lazy Coworkers

If your superiors don’t take your complaints seriously then it can become difficult to not come under the influence of lazy coworkers. But our advice is to never let this happen. Just because they goof around, it’s not necessary that you should also do the same. 

Therefore, always put your best efforts into every work and it will pay off in the long run. That’s a guarantee. 

2. Don’t Enable Laziness When Working With Lazy Coworkers

You should pay attention to this trait,i.e, to ignore a coworker’s laziness. It might sound easier but in fact, you will be enabling laziness in this way if you ignore his lazy attitude. Therefore, to deal with a coworker’s laziness, you must always make subtle attempts to address his indolence. 

For example, you can say, “Sorry I am slammed with my own work and need to meet my own deadlines.” Or you can say,” I would love to help but I don’t have time.”

Also, there’s a difference between helping a coworker and enabling laziness. Therefore, keep your viewpoint clear and perform accordingly. 

3. Maintain A Healthy Attitude

You need to maintain a healthy attitude if you are dealing with any lazy coworker. It is very annoying when you work hard and they don’t. It is even more frustrating when their laziness puts you in a poor position. 

But there’s no need to fight. Instead, you should address this issue by following one of the above steps. Rise above and be professional. Don’t let them bring you down to their mark. 

Maybe your boss is just as lazy as your coworker and does not address the issue, although you delivered it to their attention in an expert manner. Maybe you truly need to take some initiative and solve the hassle yourself.

Either way, try to motivate your lazy coworker to do their job. But how? Obviously you are not the boss so you can’t really tell your coworker to put in more effort like a boss.

What you need is a plan, a strong approach to motivate your loafing colleague and improve his performance.

Fortunately, New York Times best-selling author, Gretchen Rubin, identified 4 different characters of employees and the way they reply to authority. You can use her findings to correctly encourage your lazy coworkers and remedy problems earlier before they exceed. 

how to deal with lazy coworkers
You Need An Effective Plan To Motivate Your Lazy Coworker

4. Be More assertive

 You need to assertive at times. assertiveness and a healthy attitude go hand in hand.

Being assertive means that you need to stand up and refuse. Simply say No. If you find difficulty in saying No then learn to say No. You will notice a good change in your dealing with lazy coworkers.

It can be in the form of your work completed before the deadline, not having the burden of other’s work or etc. Therefore, you need to be mildly assertive while balancing a healthy attitude.

5. Use The Opportunity To Become A Leader

I am not saying plot something negative against your lazy coworker. Instead, use this opportunity to prove your hard work and motivational drive. So utilize this time in showing your formerly hidden qualities and let the management see what’s happening in the company?

Also, approach your lazy coworker and see if he needs help in completing a certain task. If this is the scenario then do offer him your help as this will frame you as a leader. Therefore, analyze the situation first and then approach accordingly as different situations require different strategies

The best way to deal with lazy coworkers is to let them know of their setbacks and help them in improving themselves. 

Also, communicate with your coworkers. As I said earlier, you need to put yourself in their shoes. As Robbin says, “Sometimes it is not just that they are lazy. Sometimes it is that they don’t have a good way of organizing their work and manage their time”“. So you can tell them how they can improve their management skills in this regard. 

how to deal with lazy coworkers?
Use Your Colleague’s Laziness To Become A Leader


Yes, This IS A BIG NO. Do not let your lazy coworkers be in your team if there is nothing you can do about it, not even your boss or even your management! You will have to proactively work and plan about this whole situation.

Business expert Robbin says,” When you and your lazy coworker are in the same team, then factor their anticipated laziness into your schedule. Don’t agree to a time frame that assumes that they’ll deliver”.

You can likewise use this as a chance to request more assets. “For instance, you can say, ‘Hello, chief, I’m apprehensive I won’t have the option to complete the project by June with the present assets.’ Your boss may react to this.  ‘Yet you have Bob.’ Tell him, ‘Truly, given the pace of Bob’s work, I don’t figure he can produce what we’ll require in the set time period.’

Best case, you’ll get the assets you need. assuming the worst possible scenario, you will subtly raise the issue of Bob’s presentation with your supervisor in a non-forceful way.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Question On How To Deal With Lazy Coworkers

What Do You Say to A Lazy Coworker?

Talk to your colleague directly, don’t pick up their loose, talk to your supervisor, make sure the challenging responsibility is clear, don’t rumors about the problem, copy your director on emails.

How Do You Know If Your Coworker Is Lazy?

Here are five simple-to-miss signs that you are that lazy, maddening, and noncontributing person. You are never asked for help, you have always asked for assistance, you are on the receiving side of passive-aggressive comments, you are being intervened, you learn more about the projects way later.

Is Laziness A Mental Disorder?

According to Psychology laziness is a habit instead of a mental health problem. It may reflect the shortage of self-esteem, a lack of constructive recognition by others, a shortage of discipline resulting from low self-trust and confidence.

What Are the Characteristics Of A Lazy Person?

Three Characteristics of Lazy people are they tend to delay work later, they blame others and the environment and try to make lame excuses like this or that, they should do what they wish to do rather than work to do.


Dealing with your lazy coworkers is a tricky issue, we hope that our guide on how to deal with lazy coworkers will help you to deal with this situation easily. What are your own thoughts, experiences & observations on dealing with the lazy coworkers?

Do let us know in the comments section below.

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