How should you deal with a lazy boss?

A lazy boss can make a working environment extremely difficult and negatively affect the work rate and morale of an office. There are a number of ways to try to deal with it, but it is also important to remember that your boss may be dealing with his or her own personal issue that is responsible for their laziness.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to treat them with respect to avoid making a difficult situation worse for them (and possibly you), and trust them to do their job – invariably, people are promoted because they deserve to be, so there’s a reason they’re your boss.

One of the most important things is to remain motivated. If you let your own work suffer, you will lose credibility, possibly resulting in disciplinary action against you. Therefore, maintain a strong work ethic and apply yourself as you would if your boss was not lazy. Keep the correspondence between yourself and your boss, so that you are able to prove work has been passed off to you if necessary.

Make a list of the problems resulting from your boss’s laziness and setup a private meeting with him or her to explain, professionally, how the office is being affected. Your list will help to explain your own workflow problems and where they originate. A competent boss will likely help to resolve the issues – after all, any reduced productivity will reflect negatively on them not being able to properly manage a department.

If your boss has a supervisor or other superior, you could approach them about it. It should be the last option though, because you run the risk of getting on the bad side of your boss. On the other hand, if the situation is such that action needs to be taken, it is more likely the boss will be the one receiving disciplinary action and you do have the ability to ask for the meeting to remain confidential, so the boss does not need to know it was you complaining.

If you do go above your boss’s head, though, ensure you go with genuine concern and sincerity about the boss and the situation – the last thing you want to do is appear to be happy that your boss may get in trouble, or is letting the side down. It is important to always remain professional and credible. One way of doing this is not placing blame on a reduced workrate or decreased morale, but showing concern about the lack of management and the effect it is having on the office. It is also a good idea to ask co-workers to talk to HR or the same superiors as you have, because the more reports of the situation, the more likely it is going to be looked into quickly and efficiently.

If nothing happens to resolve the situation, you could look into transfers to other departments or locations. If, however, the situation has become such that it is affecting you personally, such as stress or your overall health, it may be time to look for another job, and if you do take this path, it would be best to first look for internal transfers rather than looking for a new employer altogether.