How to Deal With Slow & Inefficient Coworkers at Your Job

How to Deal With Slow & Inefficient Coworkers at Your Job
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You don’t want to be seen as a bad coworker, but sometimes you have no choice. When dealing with employees who aren’t performing well, it’s important to remain professional and treat them respectfully.

One of the most frustrating things about a job is dealing with slow and inefficient coworkers. It can be challenging to stay calm and professional when constantly being delayed by someone else’s incompetence.

However, there are ways that you can deal with them effectively. This post will discuss a few tips for dealing with slow and inefficient coworkers. Keep reading to learn more!

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1. Concentrate on what you can influence in the situation.

It may seem like an obvious tip, but it bears repeating: Don’t let your emotions get in the way of your ability to perform well at work. Even if your coworker is acting rudely or unprofessionally, remember that they aren’t necessarily trying to make you miserable.

Instead, focus on what you can do to improve the situation. For example, if your coworker has been consistently late to meetings, try scheduling future meetings so they will stay consistent with their schedule. If your coworker frequently makes mistakes, ask them to review the documentation before submitting it to management.

If you notice your coworker taking long breaks, take advantage of those opportunities to talk to them privately. Ask about how their day is going, and offer to help out wherever possible.

If you feel comfortable doing so, ask your supervisor to speak to your coworker directly. This will allow you to explain why you think the behavior is problematic without getting into a heated argument.

When you’re faced with a difficult employee, keep these tips in mind. You may not always be able to change the person’s behavior, but you can still manage the situation professionally.

2. Communicate with clarity and precision.

In many cases, it’s best to avoid confrontation whenever possible. However, when confronting a coworker, ensure you’re clear about what you expect from them.

For example, if you suspect that your coworker hasn’t taken a lunch break in the past week, say, “I noticed that you hadn’t taken a lunch break since Monday. Is everything okay?”

This kind of direct communication allows your coworker to respond appropriately. They might choose to apologize for missing the break, or they might refuse to acknowledge the accusation. Either way, it gives you a better understanding of what’s happening.

3. Consider their perspective and act accordingly.

Even though you may disagree with your coworker’s actions, it’s important to understand where they are coming from. After all, even people who appear to be incompetent can have good intentions.

For instance, if your coworker seems to be consistently late to meetings, they could suffer stress-induced anxiety. Try to empathize with this issue, and suggest ways to improve things.

Feel free to approach your manager if you believe that your coworker needs some extra attention. Remember that managers often need to learn more about workplace details than other employees. They may also need more authority to solve problems themselves.

If you are in a similar situation again, ask your manager for guidance. Hopefully, they will recognize the problem for what it is and provide solutions.

4. Do not take out your frustration on your employees.

Understandably, you’d want to vent your frustrations to your coworkers. But it’s important to remember that everyone has different personalities and work styles.

Your coworkers are probably used to hearing complaints from you, so it’s easy to forget that they may not share your feelings. It’s also important to realize that your coworkers may be more interested in avoiding conflict than helping you deal with an irritating colleague.

Instead of complaining to your coworkers, consider approaching them one on one. If you decide to complain, make sure you express your concerns clearly and concisely. Also, be prepared to follow up if necessary.

Finally, remember that most people appreciate the feedback. Even if your coworker doesn’t seem receptive to your suggestions, it’s worth giving them a chance to hear what you say.

5. Refrain from complaining to your supervisor before speaking with a coworker.

You should never complain directly to your supervisor unless you’ve discussed the situation with your coworker. This is because your supervisor is ultimately responsible for your performance.

As such, your supervisor is likely to take offense when you criticize their decisions or behavior. The last thing you want to happen is to get into trouble over a complaint that wasn’t handled properly.

Also, your supervisor is unlikely to offer any useful advice regarding how to handle the situation. Instead, they will probably tell you to “deal with it.”

In addition, there’s no guarantee that your supervisor will agree with your assessment of the situation. For example, if your coworker is consistently tardy, your supervisor may think that the person is simply being conscientious.

Thus, before you complain to your supervisor, talk to your coworker first. Letting your coworker know about your concern can help ensure that your complaint gets taken seriously.

You should speak to your supervisor about issues that arise during the course of your job. However, you should always discuss these matters with your coworker first. Asking your coworker for assistance ensures that you’re getting the best possible solution.

6. Do not continually make up for their lack of effort.

While it may seem like a good idea to constantly compensate for your coworker’s shortcomings, this can backfire.

For example, your coworker may feel you’re trying too hard to prove yourself. They may even begin to resent you for putting in the extra effort.

Another possibility is that your coworker may start taking advantage of you. For instance, they might use your time to complete tasks that aren’t part of your responsibilities. Or your coworker may attempt to avoid working together by doing all the grunt work themself.

If your coworker starts acting inappropriately, don’t hesitate to ask them to stop. You should also let your manager know about the problem.

However, if your coworker continues acting inappropriately, it’s better to leave things alone. It’s important to remember that your coworker isn’t obligated to give you special treatment.

Moreover, it’s best to look elsewhere for employment if your coworker becomes more difficult than usual. This is especially true if your coworker disrespects you or other employees.

7. Maintain a record of your work and interactions.

It’s important to keep track of what you do daily. If you have a friend who works in an office environment, ask them to be your official notes keeper.

Alternatively, you can create a document on your computer using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. These programs are easy to use and allow you to organize your notes into different categories.

Once you finish writing down each task, you should save the file as an a.txt document. You can name the file according to your position or department. Then, you can easily access the information later.

You can also add comments to your notes. For example, if you receive a phone call from a client, you can write down the details of the conversation.

Make sure to update your notes regularly.

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8. It’s important to maintain your composure.

When dealing with slow coworkers, try to remain calm and collected. Don’t get frustrated or angry. Instead, please take a deep breath and remind yourself that everyone has their own pace. Try not to dwell on the issue. Instead, focus on something else.

Remember that your goal is to improve the situation. Thus, it’s important to be patient. If you become agitated, you should walk away from the case.

In addition, you should never lie to your coworker. Doing so will only cause problems. Even though your coworker may appear lazy, there’s no reason to think they are intentionally rude. Therefore, you should assume that your coworker is simply having trouble keeping up with their workload.

You should still confront your coworker. However, you should first try to resolve the issue privately. If this fails, then you should approach your supervisor.

Your supervisor may suggest that you talk to your coworker directly. If this is the case, you should explain why you want to speak to your coworker.

Then, you should politely request that your coworker complete their assigned tasks. Once your coworker agrees to comply, you should thank them for cooperating.

If your coworker refuses to cooperate, you should inform your supervisor about the situation. Be sure to approach your supervisor before your coworker ignores you again. If you fail to address the matter properly, your coworker may become even less cooperative.

Refrain from letting your frustration affect your ability to perform your job duties. As long as you follow these tips, you’ll be able to deal effectively with slow coworkers. Remember to stay positive and focused.


Successful people know that the secret to their success never forgets that they are just like everyone else. Nobody likes to be around a colleague who is always moaning. It has the potential to undermine people’s confidence that their work is valued.

But you can’t improve your ability to deal with adversity if you never complain. So, you might expect to feel irritated when collaborating with coworkers.

Consequently, it’s important to cultivate a positive outlook toward your employees. If you do this, you’ll be more prepared to handle any problems on the job.

Don’t lose hope if you have to work with a slacker or someone who can’t grasp the basics of their position. You can take action to alleviate the situation’s negative effects and improve it.

If you use the advice in this post, you should be able to work around your incompetent coworker. You may always contact our professional resume writers for assistance if you need help landing an interview.

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