Have you ever dealt with a challenging coworker? Do you feel frustrated about not doing enough to resolve problems with coworkers? Many people face challenges knowing how to deal with a difficult coworker or even a few of them. Learning how to cooperate with others is key to being successful at your job. Without it, there can be more significant problems affecting your job performance.
How to deal with a difficult coworker
In my last few jobs, I dealt with a couple of coworkers who weren’t the best to work with. I recalled one of them being super-annoying, while a new hire at the time who would ask me 500 questions every single day. While others I considered being lazy coworkers, I found frustrating when I was putting in more effort than other people did.
Well, lazy coworkers are a top complaint about many employees at their jobs. According to a study conducted by Mavenlink, lazy coworkers were the biggest pet peeve in the employee study. There were other concerns, but lazy coworkers was a common one. In this post, I will go over some top concerned employees had that limited their productivity.
How to deal with a difficult coworker
Biggest pet peeves at work
As mentioned earlier, Mavenlink’s “Future of Work” survey examined some generational differences in the workplace. This online survey took place several months ago, with approximately 1002 employees taking part. The participants were employees working in a corporate work environment.
Here are some significant results from the survey, which included:
- 47% of respondents said “lazy coworkers” was their pet peeve.
- 42% of respondents said that “bad attitudes” was a pet peeve, followed by 34% saying “poor communication skills” as a top concern.
Nearly all age groups in the survey agreed that “lazy coworkers” was the top pet peeve at work. The one exception was the 18-24 age group, which reported: “bad attitude” as their top issue, followed by “lazy coworkers.”
Other productivity killers
Besides the biggest pet peeves above, there were other findings that employees identified as productivity killers at work. These findings include:
- 45% of respondents selected “poor management/leadership” as the top productivity killer. In the 18-24 age group,
- 47% selected “poor management/leadership” as the top one, compared to 46% in the 45-54 age group.
- 43% said that “chatty coworkers” was the second productivity killer at work. This factor was universal across all age groups, except for the 35-44 age group. This age group reported “chatty coworkers” as their biggest productivity killer.
- 41% said that “too many/unnecessary meetings” was the third-rated productivity killer. Particularly the older age groups (45-64 years old) disliked meetings the most and ranked it as their top productivity killer.
The reasoning behind the study
The numbers are noteworthy, but in today’s modern workforce, they’re not surprising either. The survey was conducted for companies to come up with ideas for team-building opportunities. Team-building strategies are one of the essential elements in the workplace. But based on this study, team-building seems to be a significant challenge for companies to address.
One recommendation that Mavenlink gives is that managers and executives should listen to their employees’ concerns and implement changes in the following areas:
“Poor management/leadership” is the top productivity killer among respondents. Companies should figure out how to interact with their employees differently to avoid distractions and improve productivity.
Meetings are very unpopular among the older age groups. So companies should figure out how to make meetings more efficient and limit meetings times.
Other areas that respondents disliked the most include:
- 44% went to “office politics”
- 26% toward “poor management/leadership.”
- 25% said “lack of transparency/hierarchy,”
My takeaways: What else we can do
When I reviewed this study, I wasn’t surprised regarding the top pet peeves and productivity killers. In my last few jobs, I believe many of my former coworkers would agree these are areas of concern. Sometimes, it isn’t straightforward working with others who have different opinions from you. But if it becomes a bigger problem at work, something has to change (and it starts at the top).
My dissenting view
I’m afraid I have to disagree with some of the survey recommendations. If I were to make some recommendations, I would look into areas where age groups have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, younger age groups are usually more tech-savvy. So why not have them do tasks such as internet research or social media? While older age groups can focus on areas where they might be more skilled than their younger peers.
Another option could be remote work opportunities. Is it necessary for people to see their coworkers every workday (whether that’s five days a week)? I get annoyed (small or big) with what my coworkers do some days. Not only can you avoid those inconveniences, but companies can save time and money.
Overall, this study had some clear takeaways in what’s going on in the modern-day workplace. I find dealing with lazy coworkers to be difficult ones to work with. In my experience, it annoyed me because the ones who were lazy didn’t change. They didn’t last long at the previous job I was at. I’ve seen it happen, and it helped people, such as myself, to do my best while focusing on my work performance. Some of their recommendations may be quick fixes, while other ones need better solutions.
Out of the survey’s findings, what is your biggest pet peeve? Have you experienced any of the issues brought up in the study?
If you’ve experienced anything, leave a comment below. Also, please share this post with others.
Eric is a time management consultant and owner of the blog, quitkillingtime.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time, personally and professionally. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He likes to go for long walks out in nature and been taking Zumba classes every week at his local gym. You can follow Eric via Facebook and LinkedIn.