By Anna Homa

Answer: Unfortunately, there are many people in the work force who are like this. They want to do as little as possible and get away with it, while everyone else is left picking up the slack. It’s not as bad for people who do individual jobs. It’s easy to see who isn’t working and harder for the slackers to find someone who will do their work for them. But for those that rely on the group to get a job done, it can be very stressful having to do everything.I wouldn’t suggest going straight over to the offenders and giving them a piece of your mind, which is, I’m sure, what you’d really like to do. If they are on equal standing with you at the office, it probably wouldn’t do much good. If they are used to people doing their work, someone who doesn’t have any effect on their job isn’t going to deter them from their lazy behavior. It’s almost assured there will be awkward feelings and animosity on both sides of the fence and will make an already stressful situation even worse.

If you have the same boss, try having a word with him or her. Don’t go in with a bad attitude, acting like you haven’t yet graduated from middle school, but stay calm and lay out the specifics of what these people are doing, or aren’t doing, for that matter.

Explain why you think it’s a problem, but don’t overstep your bounds and presume to tell the boss what he or she should do. Just state the problem and how you feel about it. If there are others who feel the same way, convince them to go to the boss as well.

If the boss hears it from more than just you, it will give him or her more to think about and will reaffirm what you’ve already told him or her. If nothing is done after all that, prepare your résumé and let it be known you are ready to find better employment elsewhere if something isn’t done about it. Then leave it up to your boss to make the right decision.

If you are the boss, then you’ve got to do what you’ve got do. Don’t let people get away with unloading all their work on everyone else. You’ve got to step up and let them know they are not working to their full potential and outline the consequences of their not doing their work. Calmly explain their job descriptions, what they entail, and what you expect out of them. If needed, have them go back and do the job over again or ensure they are given extra work from now on. Just be firm and stand your ground.

Then give them a chance to get their act together and see if your speech motivated them to do better at their job. Sometimes a little dose of reality will push someone to be better. But if it doesn’t work and they are still trying to skirt their responsibilities, show them the door. It does no one any good to have people like that on staff, and there are probably many others who would like to do have the positions the slackers once had.

Whatever happens, don’t let yourself feel awkward at work. You were doing your job, they weren’t. Don’t let other people dictate how you feel at work. If they don’t like that you went to the boss or, as the boss, reminded them of their duties, it’s their problem.