Working with someone who is unpleasant or who doesn’t pull their weight can be very stressful. A bad co-worker can sap your energy and drag down the productivity of your whole team. Unfortunately, there may be nothing you can do about an unpleasant person you have to work with.

However, you can try to improve your situation by changing your own attitude and interactions with the difficult co-worker. Some tips to help include the following:

  • Limit your interactions and put as much in writing as possible. If you are concerned your co-worker will drop the ball or make you look bad, try to minimize your in-person interactions and put as much in writing as you can. For example, if you need data from your co-worker to produce a report, send an email. If your co-worker doesn’t deliver, you’ll have a written record showing why your report was delayed. Limiting in-person interactions and communicating via email can also reduce the potential for you to get aggravated by your co-worker’s bad attitude.
  • Don’t rise to the bait. If your co-worker is rude or has a bad attitude, don’t react to their behavior. Let it roll down your back and always stay calm. You cannot control what your co-worker does, but you can control how you allow their interactions to affect you.
  • Know what your legal rights are. Some bad behavior you may have to live with because you don’t want to be seen as a troublemaker for complaining about your co-worker. This is especially true if your boss likes the person you find to be a bad apple. However, there are behaviors you do not have to put up with nor should you. If a co-worker is endangering you by not following safety rules or is harassing you on the basis of your gender, race, religion, national origin or other protected status, you need to speak to your boss or HR. Companies are required to prevent a hostile work environment and protect the safety of staff members so your employer will have to take action.


If you are really unhappy in your job because of bad co-workers, you may want to consider talking with IES Custom Staffing about job opportunities in Boise, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls Idaho, or Clearfield, Utah. Our staffing professionals may be able to help you find a great new position with co-workers you will enjoy working with. Contact us today.

Leave a Reply