• Coworkers that don’t do their jobs make your job harder
  • Leverage others to enforce improvement and keep your distance
  • Keep your work great and you’ll win in the end
You’ve got enough on your plate as it is. With all of the tasks and projects you’re having to manage, it’s hard enough to just keep your head above water. Every day can be a struggle to not fall behind.

Most of your projects require some kind of input and feedback from others. And, most of the time, your coworkers get you the information or data that you need to move on to the next step.

However, there’s always at least one slacker in every organization. You know exactly the type we’re talking about here. It’s the one pain-in-the-ass coworker that rarely does their job, if at all.

It’s like when you’ve got all the key parts of the presentation done except for that one section that you need from that unresponsive coworker that never gets you what you need.

Because of the tight deadline, you end up having to do their work just so that you can get everything done on time. And this just fucking pisses you off to no end.

Why the fuck are you doing somebody else’s work?

They should be the ones doing their own damn work, right?!

You have a hard enough time managing work stress with your current workload. You don’t need more stress. You need a better way to deal with this bullshit.

How Slackers Negatively Impact You

Do you know that person in the office who always seems to be doing the least amount of work? The one who takes hour-long smoke breaks, comes in late and leaves early, and spends more time on social media and going down rabbit holes than actually working?

These slugs are only working just hard enough to not attract any bad attention and get fired. They’re only doing the bare minimum. If their lack of effort only negatively impacted them, then it isn’t a big deal. They can screw themselves, who cares?

The problem is that nobody works in isolation. Everybody depends on everyone else to do their part so that the machine continues to work. And when one of those cogs in the machine isn’t meshing well with others, it causes issues.

When your coworker’s lack of support, contribution and effort is negatively affecting your productivity and work, it will cause a lot of unnecessary stress to the point where you might actually start mediating at work.

First, because of their lack of support, your work is often at risk of not meeting key milestones and deadlines. It makes it nearly impossible to keep momentum when things get fucking hard. And when you can’t keep up, that's when you start getting stressed out.

All of this added stress isn’t just mental either.

Significant and prolonged exposure to cortisol, the stress hormone, can result in high blood pressure, unhealthy eating habits, weight gain, cardiovascular disease, tension headaches and a whole bunch of other physiological issues.

Then there’s the issue of your personal brand and career progression at work. The quality of your work is a reflection of your reputation, expertise, knowledge, skills and capabilities.

When a loafer negatively impacts your work, it can result in some dings in your credibility and sometimes, it can tarnish your reputation and put you at risk of being passed up for promotion.

When your good-for-nothing coworker is not doing their part, it can and will negatively impact you and others in the organization.

How To Deal With Coworkers That Won’t Do Their Job

The unfortunate thing here is that you’re not the CEO or owner of the company nor are you the direct manager of that no-working loser. If you were, all you’d have to do is tell them to get their shit together and do their job or else you’re firing their lazy ass.

You do have dreams of this. We all do.

However, dreams aren’t going to fix the problems here. You need actionable real-world tactics to help you deal with them. Here are a few ideas.

Talk Directly To Your Coworker

A lot of people will just instantly escalate things as their first step and this isn’t good. Be an adult and always try direct communication first before “telling mom and dad”.

Arrange a time to have a real conversation. Don’t rely on texting or work chats because it’s hard to convey and communicate tone. It’s too easy for things to get misinterpreted and it can go off the rails fast.

Talking directly with them can help to clear things up for both of you. It’s even better if you can do this in person or via video if you’re working remotely.

Find Out More About Their Situation

Continuing from the point above, it’s important to get to the truth of the matter here. There may be a valid reason why they’ve been so slow or unresponsive. It could be an illness, relationship battles, financial struggles or any number of things.

You don’t know what’s going on in their personal lives and really, it’s none of your business. However, they may share what they’re comfortable with to explain why their performance hasn’t been up to par.

Or, if they’re still reacting lackadaisically during the conversation and to your questions, then it could be a sign that they just don’t give a fuck at work anymore.

Escalate Things To Their Boss

After your attempts to resolve things on your own with them haven’t yielded any improvements, then it’s time to escalate the issue to their direct supervisor or manager.

You’ll want to send an email to their manager asking about the status of your request and that you haven’t heard back from their direct report. Or, if you’ve done this already, then it’s more of an email about the employee's lack of support.

Don’t fly off the handle and send a rude ass email. Keep your cool. Explain the facts and how you need their support and contributions.

Escalate Things To Your Boss

In addition to escalating to their boss, you should also escalate things to your manager too. They need to know that your work is being negatively affected by the lack of support from the other employee.

After all, if you’re not getting shit done, then they’re not getting shit done either. They need to know what obstacles are preventing you from doing your job. That’s part of middle management bullshit that they need to deal with, not you. You have to focus on getting the critical grunt work done so that everything else works.

Document Everything For Proof

Don’t leave things to hearsay because it will turn into a pointless blamestorming session where nothing gets resolved. You need to have evidence to back up your claims. Don’t rely on anecdotes and finger-pointing.

This is why you need to save all of those emails where you sent multiple follow-ups with no responses, no attendance in meetings or calls, no submissions, etc. In addition, you need to use CYA emails so that you can defend yourself if shit hits the fan at work.

Deflect & Redirect Pressure To Them

When the pressure is building and people are asking you for status and results, you need to deflect and redirect that pressure to the slacker. You need to clarify to others that you’ve done your part and you are happy to help with your portions. However, for the missing stuff, refer them to the MIA coworker and their boss.

By redirecting this pressure, you’ll minimize the amount of angst you’ll have to bear and it’ll put the pressure where it belongs, to your not-working coworker who’s not pulling their weight.

Use Disclaimers To Protect Yourself

Where it’s appropriate, make sure to use clear disclaimers to show that your useless coworker did not provide their information, input or contributions. For example, for the missing section, put a boxed note there that information was not provided by X person.

In a way, you’re throwing them under the bus, but in a logical and professional way. When you do this, you’re protecting yourself from any unjustified blame. You’ve done your part and it’s not your job to do their work. You’ve got enough on your plate.

Get HR Involved

When this issue has been going on for some time, you need to bring it to the attention of HR. You have to understand that HR doesn’t know what happens at the working level. They have no visibility of the shit that goes on in the trenches.

It’s a good idea to share your struggles with them so that they understand that the subpar performance of another employee is negatively impacting your performance, productivity and progress at work, which ultimately impacts the overall organization.

Chances are good that you’re not the only one banging your head against the wall with this slouch. There are probably more than a few of your fellow employees that are going through the same thing. This helps HR to build their case to put the slacker on a performance plan.

Keep Your Shit Right & Things Will Be Fine

Let’s face it - there are always going to be a few dead weights in every organization. It’s unavoidable. Working with these idiots is a royal pain in the ass, especially when your progress depends heavily on their contributions.

A lot of times we focus too much of our energy on trying to get lazy asses to do their jobs when in fact, the best way to go about it is to apply key tactics and leverage other people to enforce improvement.

You can’t do everything on your own. You have to be smart and do more with less stress so that you can be happy at work and have a life.

The more you focus on getting your shit right and less on deadbeats, the better off you’ll be. Position yourself and your work in the best light possible and keep both a safe distance away from the slacker. When you do this, you’ll win no matter what.

So, get in the zone and kick ass. Let the work slugs wither.

Feel Better,

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