How to Work With Slow Moving Co-Workers

Working with slow coworkers can be aggravating, but do not ruin your career over it.

Working with slow coworkers can be aggravating, but do not ruin your career over it.

Dealing with a coworker who moves like molasses might drive you crazy, but only if you let her. Dysfunctional coworkers can make an entire team and sometimes an entire company look incompetent, but by removing yourself emotionally from the situation and allowing the source of the workplace drama to come to light is the only solution. If the coworker is functional, but slow, you could also help her, offer additional training or be a friend.

Check yourself. Determine that the issue is not just a perception of laziness or incompetence, but that your coworker is actually hurting the team, the company or the bottom line. If she is just annoying, consider how you can minimize interaction with her. See if you can get switched to a different project or trade shifts with another coworker.

Take a break or go out to lunch or coffee with the slow coworker and talk to her about the situation. Understand her perspective and learn if there is any legitimacy to her slow speed. Offer your own perspective in a nonconfrontational way. Propose solutions to benefit your coworker and the company, such as the ability to work from home, or allowing her to take on projects that better match her skill set. You may even suggest that she get further training.

Suggest team training exercises, seminars or Webinars that will help not only the slow coworker, but the company as a whole. You can be a hero to your team by getting everyone away from their desks or out of the office for a day or two. With everyone getting additional training, you avoid embarrassing the struggling coworker.

Alert management if the issue is an attitude or work ethic issue and your interventions have been unsuccessful. At the end of the day, your coworker doesn't sign your paycheck; the company that you work for does and you need to take care of your household first.

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About the Author

Missi Maynard has worked in online advertising for more than 10 years. She has also been a copywriter for a number of online publications and volunteers for many charitable and faith-based organizations. Maynard holds associate degrees in computer information systems and general studies, and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Christian ministry.

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