Even one lazy workmate can ‘drag the team down’

Melbourne: Is there someone in your workplace who simply slumps in the swivel chair beside you, always using Facebook, or yawning away after having long lunch?

Their lazy disposition is not just reducing your workplace morale, but also reducing your team``s effectiveness, says an Australian psychologist.

"We found that a single lazy person — someone low in proactivity — drags the team down, reducing its satisfaction and performance," says PhD candidate Benjamin Walker, from the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales.

Walker placed 158 undergraduate students into 33 teams of four or five people. He measured the groups`` overall ability to perform by providing them with a task that required all hands on deck.

Each member was then asked to rate their own character by agreeing or disagreeing with statements relating to personality.

Teams containing even one person with an unconscientiousness personality performed poorly in comparison to their conscientiousness peers, reports ABC Science.

Walker suggests that employers use this information to cull poor performers and protect the team at large.

The research will be presented at the 9th Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference in Brisbane.


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