Career Tips

Don’t Let a Slack Co-Worker Stress You Out

Date Posted: 03/16/2015

There is no perfect working environment. No, it doesn’t exist. And meeting a slack co-worker is inevitable.  But hey, don’t fret. You can save yourself from stress and troubles he/she might cause you.

Here are some ideas on how you can get relief:

Don’t let them consume you.

However difficult, stop thinking of or being bothered by your slack co-worker’s inactivity and retain focus to your own work. Remember, he/she will not have to answer for your work, you will.

Don’t be naive about fairness.

Of course, it is unfair that he/she gets away with doing little or no work while you have to sweat it out. Don’t worry, sooner than you think, your work will be noticed and he/she will get what’s due to him/her.

Address your protest at the offender, not the boss.

At this stage, keep it between you and the offender only, without raising it further. Tell him about the problems you are having because his actions and give him repeated chances to rectify his behavior.

Personalize your method.

Handling every individual should be different according to the person’s personality so use your unique people skills. Be yourself because it is ultimately your actions that will decide your career. Don’t let any emotion, anger, friendship or empathy corrupt your approach or affect your work.

Resist her charm; don’t join her.

See through her disregard of others or the façade of charm, likability and demeanor and don’t get fooled by liberal ‘sorries’, “I didn’t know’, ‘I’ll make it up to you’, etc. She is capable of drawing you into her scheme of things, and inducing you to act similarly and get away with her kind of working habits. Surely, she will turn on you when she’s done with you.

Don’t feel obliged; even for help during your early days.

Its fine to fill in for a slack co-worker occasionally, but don’t let it become routine because your slacker friend is just exploiting you.

Document your efforts.

Keep a record of all instances when you interact with the slacker on the problem. This will not only keep evidence of your attempts at trying to reform the person, but will also not let it appear as if you are seeking excuses for any lack in your own output.

When all else fails, escalate the problem.

You need to ultimately alert the boss, but only as a last resort.  Assure the boss that you will again handle it but with his silent support. Always be wary of loyalty factors, even ethnic, in a multi-cultural group where the boss and the offender maybe from the same community or country which is different from yours.

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