Have you ever come across lazy coworkers in your part time job? If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, right? That could well be your motto for your part time job. You like to keep busy. And if there isn’t much to do on any particular day, rather than sit there twiddling your thumbs or having a brew and a chat, you like to make yourself look busy. And besides, the day goes quicker when you keep yourself busy.

If your job is all about working with customers, making yourself look busy on a quiet day is what it’s all about. You need to look professional and keen on your work. You don’t want to be the person scrolling through Instagram photos on your phone rather than acknowledging the customer in the shop.

In any type of part time job, you can come across lazy coworkers. The person who always has to eek out an extra few minutes whilst on their break. The person who gets back late from lunch time breaks. The person who always volunteers to make the coffee rather than do their work. The person who seems to spend more time wandering around the office chatting to other staff rather than remain on task. The person who seems to take far more toilet breaks than everyone else.

Lazy coworkers can be a problem and, if you are working in a place where most of you are part time staff, you could even come across a few coworkers who you perceive to be lazy. Perhaps you think they are not taking their jobs seriously because it’s ‘just a part time job.’

What do you do if you find yourself in that situation? It can be a tricky situation to be in. It can irritate the life out of you and even start affecting your own performance at work and your mood at home. Well, let’s not let that happen! If you are having a lazy coworker experience, take a look at some of the tips and strategies below so that you can deal with the situation successfully.

Don’t fall into the trap of joining your lazy coworker

First of all, don’t fall into the trap of becoming equally as lazy as your lazy coworker. As mentioned above, many workplaces have those people who will wander around chatting to people rather than getting their job done.

Whilst it sometimes might seem preferable to remaining on task, don’t let yourself be distracted into joining the conversation. Chat at break times; not on the job. If your coworker persists in the conversation and you have work to do, explain that you can chat to them at break time because you have something you need to get finished.

Don’t show your anger

Easier said than done. That lazy coworker who never seems to be doing the job they are supposed to be doing – and getting away with it -it could make you angry. When you are feeling angry, that is not the time to tell your coworker to get some work done. This could make you unpopular with that person and, as a result, you could become unpopular with other coworkers. If you do want to speak to your coworker directly about the problem, wait until you are calm and not feeling the heat. This means you can choose your words wisely rather than saying something off the cuff that you might regret later.

Don’t get bogged down in the ‘it isn’t fair’ scenario

Of course it isn’t fair. You are working hard at your part time job and someone else does nothing and seemingly gets away with it. If you let yourself worry too much about this situation being unfair, it can make you grumpy at work and affect your own performance. Focus on doing your own duties to the best of your ability.

Don’t increase your own workload

Don’t let your lazy coworker’s lack of effort affect your own workload. This can be sometimes difficult if you are working part time in a place where most of the staff are part time. You may feel you should take on a bit extra and do some of your lazy coworker’s tasks.

You are not a babysitter. If your lazy coworker asks you to do something instead of them, be assertive and stand up for yourself and say no (remembering not to be angry, of course). Explain that you have your own tasks to complete within a given timeframe. Even if you are working on the same project, assign certain tasks to certain people and concentrate on your own tasks.

There could be times when your boss asks where your team is up to with a task or a project. If the project is behind schedule, this could be an ideal opportunity to subtly highlight that someone in the team might not be pulling their weight. “Everything is ready. We’re just waiting for Jo to finish their task and then we can complete.” In this way, you haven’t told any tales or gone behind anyone’s back.

Is it worth going to superiors?

Mentioning to more superior staff that you are just waiting for someone to complete a task is one thing. Being seen as the person who ran off to the boss to tell tales about a coworker not doing their job is something else. This, again, can affect your reputation in the workplace. Make a decision on how serious the situation is and,if you do need to talk about it to someone, perhaps offload onto another coworker who you can trust, first. You could make the situation worse for yourself rather than better.

Can you communicate with your coworker?

Are you sure your coworker is actually being lazy? It could be the case that you have been trying to ignore the situation and get on with your own part time job without actually thinking about why your coworker is seemingly lazy. Communication in the workplace is important and you might be surprised as to why your coworker is not getting tasks completed. A bit of friendly communication could go a long way to clearing the air.

  • Are they being lazy or are they procrastinating? Lots of people procrastinate in the workplace – rather than laziness, procrastination is about doing activities other than the ones you are supposed to be doing. You could take a lead on this and find out why it is that your coworker is avoiding certain tasks.
  • Procrastination can happened for a number of reasons. Does your coworker have the relevant experience or training for the task. They could be avoiding it because they are unsure how to do it and are afraid to ask. Could you offer a helping hand at this point by perhaps pointing them in the right direction or swapping some of the tasks around.
  • Your coworker could be going through some problems at home and these are affecting their performance at work. Communicating with them and offering a sympathetic ear could make all the difference.
  • Your coworker may be prone to zoning out. Lots of us can easily fall into daydreaming and losing track of time. If you could give your coworker a gentle nudge each time they zone out, they might even be grateful that you brought them back to work reality.

So now you have some tips and strategies for dealing with your lazy coworker – or your procrastinating coworker – how can you use them to your advantage?

Unfortunately, it could be the case that your lazy coworker is constantly getting away with not pulling their weight and you feel your only option is to hand in your notice and look for other part time jobs. If this is the case for you, make sure you leave your current position as per the company policy. If you go to speak to your boss about why you want to hand in your notice, you might even be able to resolve the issue without changing roles.

However, if you can resolve the situation by dealing with your coworker via communication means you could work out some ways of encouraging and motivating them to get tasks completed. Large tasks that might be overwhelming your coworker could be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks where you can all check in to make sure you are all up to speed, for example.

This could highlight some leadership skills and you might be able to gain promotion in your part time job if these leadership and motivational qualities are noticed by your superiors.

Have you come across lazy coworkers in your part time jobs in the past? If so, how did you choose to deal with the situation?

If you are currently looking for a part time job in your area, why not take a look to see if there is anything to suit you in this list of current part time vacancies around the UK? Jobs are advertised in various locations and you can also search by category. So whether you are looking for outdoor work, driving jobs or professional roles, take a look to see what’s on offer and you could soon be in your ideal part time job.