All play and no work

All play and no work

Matter of concern

All play and no work

In every movie, television series, sitcom or web series ever made about an office, there is always that one slacker — the one who lounges by the coffee machine, the one whose desk always has a pile of pending work, the one who irritates fellow office mates no end.

Rest assured, these characters are not works of fiction; every office has its fair share of shirkers. What is more, their laziness could be contagious.

According to a new study conducted by the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM) in France, that is attracting attention on social media, it is seen that people tend to imitate behaviours of laziness, impatience and prudence seen in their coworkers and these guide how they make decisions that involve taking a risk, delaying an action and making an effort. So how do professionals deal with such issues?

“We all know that one person who is always on Facebook or takes breaks every 10-15 minutes,” says Damodar Varma, an MNC professional.

“There are many who will cut corners wherever possible, making the lives of the other team mates a whole lot more difficult. The best thing to do is to talk to them and tell them how their laziness is impacting the other members. Covering up for them, no matter how close a friend they are, will only harm both the organisation and the person themselves in the long run.”

He also emphasises on the fact that one shouldn’t let such colleagues distract them. “Don’t spend your day focusing on what they are or are not doing. It only leads to thoughts on the issue of fairness in life and ultimately you feel bad, which really doesn’t change anything.” Piyali Guha agrees and talks about making sure such people don’t affect one’s attitude. “If you waste your time and energy on being angry or annoyed about your lazy colleague, your work performance may start slipping. Don’t gossip or complain to others; you may be less pleasant to be around.

A hostile colleague is just as bad as a lazy one. Just make sure you don’t end up following their routine because it is so relaxed and they seem to be getting away with it anyway. If they ask for your company or start chatting with you, let them know you are busy.” Others like Viswanath S are more charitable and feel that people become lazy because of lack of motivation. The Business and Intelligence and Analytics Consultant believes that speaking to such coworkers is the best way out of the quagmire.

“Talking to such people about the consequences of their actions seems to be the best way forward, though I personally haven’t faced such a situation in my office. Talk to them about the way forward and the benefits that await them if they perform their duties responsibly.
You can narrate personal experiences and so on to influence their behaviour. You can involve the superiors at a later stage if nothing seems to be working,” he says.