How to Deal With a Colleague Who Does Not Do His Share of Work

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Dealing with a colleague who is not doing his share of work can be frustrating, especially if you are picking up the slack while he is still bringing in a paycheck along with you. Various solutions for bringing harmony back into the workplace are possible, depending on the severity of the situation and your coworker's attitude and feelings on the matter.

Assess the current work situation and create a list of the duties you and the rest of your coworkers are completing on behalf of the under-performing colleague. Getting a clear picture of just how much work is not being done by the coworker can help you to choose a proper method of approaching and confronting him yourself.

Write a list of the tasks and duties you complete on a daily basis and the responsibilities of your coworker that are not being completed, or are being taken care of by you or another colleague.

Document the number and details of the times your coworker is deliberately slacking or refusing to do work on large projects that would help to improve the efficiency of the workplace.

Speak directly with your coworker to attempt to encourage participation and help with contributing to projects and his own work. Rather than initially confronting the colleague yourself, offering enthusiasm and encouragement can help him to become motivated and to get back to work — this can help you to avoid tension or confrontation.

Meet with your manager or supervisor to speak about the behavior in the office. Give examples and, if requested, show your written documents of the behavior.

Confront your coworker directly when you catch him slacking off during a meeting or normal work hours. Send a direct email to inform your colleague of your observations; mention that it is inappropriate during work hours, and include details of how slacking affects work morale and efficiency.


Everyone may have off days at work once in a while, so it is important to gauge just how frequently the lack of work is interfering with and disrupting the entire team's workflow before considering a step of action — if one is necessary at all.