Every office has one: The slacker who seems to weasel his way out of anything that even remotely involves work. We pick up after him. We cover for him. In general, we all think he’s a waste of space. But, as I said, every office has one.
What if—dare I say it—you’re that slacker? Could it be possible? It might be hard to admit, but maybe it’s time to take a good hard look at your own work habits. Take this quiz and see if you need to start picking up the pace.
Read each statement and select an answer that best describes what you would do in the situation. You may not find one that describes you perfectly – so just choose the one that works best.
1. Your boss is out of town for a few days. You:
a) Take a few long lunches, come in a bit late, leave a little early. It’s no big deal. That’s what people do when the boss is gone.
b) Continue working as usual. You still have responsibilities and deadlines. Okay, maybe you take an extra coffee break here or there – but nothing over the top.
c) Keep an eye on everyone in the office and make notes when your co-workers try to take advantage. Just because the cat’s away doesn’t mean the mice get to play.
2. You head to the break room to get a snack and find that the place is a wreck! Dishes are piling up in the sink, the paper towel dispenser is empty, the counter tops are sticky, and there’s a mysterious smell coming from the refrigerator. You:
a) Plug your nose, grab your soda, and get outta there!
b) Take about 10 minutes to get the place back in shape. Everyone has to pitch in with the common areas.
c) Create a detailed cleaning schedule for the entire staff and send it out in an email detailing the unacceptable current state of the break room.
3. You’re working on a group project with several co-workers. When tasks are assigned, you:
a) Jump on the easiest one that will take the least amount of time. Hey, someone gets to do it. Why not you?
b) Offer to do whatever is needed. It’s a group effort and you want to be actively involved.
c) Make sure that everyone is doing their fair share. You don’t want to let others just skate by.
4. You have several big projects that have all piled up at once. You know that it will take staying late in order to complete everything on time. You:
a) Convince a co-worker to help out and leave perfectly on time as planned.
b) Do what has to be done in order to complete your tasks. Next time, you’ll have to manage your time more effectively.
c) Inquire with your boss about the workload of your co-workers. It doesn’t seem right that everything has landed on your desk.
5. You have a lot of organization and basic clean up that needs to be done in your office. You:
a) Block your calendar for a day in order to get it done.
b) Stay late one evening so it doesn’t interfere with the work you need to do.
c) Outline what needs to be done and delegate the job to the intern.
Count the number of A’s, B’s and C’s that appear on your list.
If A’s appear most:
Okay, let’s look in the mirror, my friend. Do you see a slacker? That face you’re looking at? I hate to break it to you. That’s the face of a slacker. Once you’ve gotten over your initial shock, sit down and let’s talk.
Being a “slacker” basically just means you’re not taking your job as seriously as you should. You’re doing the least amount of work and you’re sliding by. Maybe you’re doing just enough to survive, but you’re not thriving. Be honest: Are you pawning things off on others? Are you settling for just doing and not focusing on doing things to the best of your ability?
Take a good, hard look and see what you can do to repair your damaged reputation. First off, try stepping up to the plate. Volunteer to take on the most challenging task in a group project. Offer to assist an overwhelmed co-worker. Be the first one to clean the break room when it’s needed. Learn how to be proactive. And, above all else, show that you’re ready and willing to put the effort in to do a good job. Come on; no more slacking!
If B’s appear most:
Congratulations! You’re definitely not a slacker. You take your job seriously and you always strive to do your best. You don’t appear to be a complete workaholic though. You know how to get things done but still kick back on occasion. That kind of balance will serve you well in the long run. Continue with the good work and remember to focus on yourself. Be a team player but don’t let others take advantage of your strong work ethic. Maintain the balance you’ve created by setting appropriate boundaries and remember to enjoy yourself!
If C’s appear most:
To tell you the truth, I have no idea if you’re a slacker. The reason? You’re too concerned about what everyone else is doing! It’s time to stop worrying about who isn’t doing their “fair share” and instead, focus on doing your job. Sure, you may work with a few slackers. But don’t waste your time fretting about it. In the end, these things always come around. Focus on yourself. Remember that you can’t control the actions of others. But you can control your own. A strong work ethic goes a long way. Keep in mind that if you’re a team player, your co-workers will typically step up and support you. If you’re trying to motivate the slackers on your team, start by looking at your own work habits.