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3 Ways to Handle a Messy and Lazy Coworker A messy and lazy co-worker has a negative effect both on the work environment itself and overall company productivity. These types of situations must be handled as professionally as possible to ensure a proper solution. The co-worker in question may not even be aware that their actions or lack thereof are a detriment to your workplace. That’s why the first step should be the nicest and most lenient attempt to get them to turn their act around for the better. It may take a more serious or stern step to get some lazy and messy co-workers to step up their game.

The first thing you should do if you experience a messy and lazy coworker is to approach them as an individual. Before you even begin to discuss their habits, ask them about their personal life. It helps if this person has worked with you for a while and you know them on a personal basis. You should subtly dig to see if they have any problems going on in their personal life that may be spilling over into their work. Maybe they are experiencing a rough time in their relationships at home, or maybe they have health problems. They may be delighted to know that someone cares enough to talk to them, and they may naturally work cleaner and more efficiently as a result of the positive vibes you send them.

If this doesn’t work, you need to go a step higher. You now need to confront the person in a more corrective mindset either by yourself or with other workers around. You have to convey to them that their sloppy behavior and laziness are holding everyone else back. Be sure to emphasize that their current production and cleanliness are unacceptable. If you have some authority in a management or staff position, you can use this to your advantage. You can also hint that you can get the bosses involved if the behavior doesn’t improve.

It may then be time to get the senior workers or staff members involved. You tried being nice and you tried handling it professionally on your own, but nothing you said seemed to sink in. This is now the time to go to the top of the chain and file formal complaints to your bosses about the conduct of the co-worker. Be sure to be professional and articulate. Try not to bring personal grudges into the mix. Explain why the co-worker is violating company policies and show proof if possible. Get the bosses on your side by being clear and concise with your complaints, and get the other workers involved in this as well.

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