When you work closely with other individuals, preserving workplace harmony can sometimes be a challenge. In addition, the more people you work with, the more personalities, opinions, and stressful situations you have to deal with on a daily basis.

For instance, you may find some of your co-workers lack the motivation that you do. That can cause frustration and even anger when they get paid the same or more to do less work than you.

But it is possible to maintain a comfortable work environment if you know how to handle co-workers who drag down productivity.

Don’t Get Sucked In

At times you may wonder if the best way to handle co-workers who drag down productivity is to simply join them. After all, why should you work your tail off when they aren’t?

This kind of response is the easy way out. Be proactive rather than reactive and don’t allow yourself to get sucked into behaving the same way.

In other words, they are making the choice to behave badly and not be productive. So, let them sink their own ship. You don’t have to be on the ship with them when it finally goes down and they get reprimanded or fired.

Look Inward

One way to handle co-workers who drag down productivity is to look inward instead. Recognize that you may not be able to change their behavior. However, you can focus on your own.

Complete your own tasks as accurately and efficiently as you can. If you run out of work, ask your co-workers or a supervisor if there are other things you can do to help.

If you run circles around everyone else the upper management is bound to eventually notice you and wonder why everyone else is slacking.

Avoid Drama

Nearly every workplace that has at least 3 or 4 employees has a drama queen. You know who it is among your co-workers.

Don’t add to the drama if you can help it. When the drama queen takes the stage and begins telling or retelling a story, quietly go about your work. Avoid entering into the conversation if you can help it.

Taking this approach ensures that at least your own productivity won’t be affected. If they try to get you to engage in the gossip too, simply tell them you are swamped and must get your work done.

Work With Them

Sometimes you may need a different approach to handle co-workers who drag down productivity. As the saying goes, you can draw more flies with honey than with vinegar. In other words, don’t confront them with anger but with kindness.

As an example, if they are overwhelmed it could be causing their productivity to suffer. Offer to help them look for solutions to meet their deadlines and get back on track.

Or, if that isn’t the problem, try to get your underperforming colleague to help you on a project as an alternative. Let them know you need their advice and expertise.

Add a Bit of Fun

If there is tension in your workplace it could be the cause of lowered productivity. Try adding a bit of fun to your co-worker’s day to brighten it and give everyone a boost.

Bring a few healthy snacks for everyone or, if it’s allowed, put on some office appropriate, upbeat music. Another idea is to take a break and get everyone ice cream or a soda in the afternoon.

Handling co-workers who drag down productivity could be as simple as breaking up the routine in everyone’s day. When moral is increased and your co-workers want to be there, productivity may naturally be higher as a result.

It isn’t always easy and smooth sailing when you work with other people. However, knowing how to handle co-workers who drag down productivity can smooth the waters.

Have you ever had a co-worker who wasn’t pulling their weight? What did you do about it?