Dealing with a colleague who does less than their fair share can eat into your time, productivity, and wellbeing. Not only do you feel obliged to pick up slack, the frustration of giving your all while watching someone else get away with scraping through the day can become consuming in itself. Lazy colleagues create a tempest of poor habits and bad vibes; it can be difficult to avoid being sucked in.
Isolating yourself from their habits, their baggage, and their responsibilities, however, is the only way to safeguard both your professional success, and your sanity. As tricky as it can be to carve out clean, distinct workloads when you’re part of a team, you should try and clarify all accountabilities within a project from the very beginning, with unambiguous tasks and deadlines for everyone involved. As tempting as it might be to shoulder the work of others to get things over the line, this will only create an expectation going forward-if your co-worker doesn’t deliver, you can refer back to the plan, and make culpability clear. It may be difficult to weather in the short-term, but it will help highlight where the issues lie within your team, and prompt change.
Contributors: Andy Farrell from Nigel Frank International