With many workplaces running their staffing allowances lean and mean, it’s not a wonder that employees feel stretched to their limits. When an employee appears to be unmotivated or lazy, co-workers may find themselves not only picking up the slack but also feeling emotionally drained from all the complaints. This is a very common issue in the workplace.
In many employment positions, responsibilities are often shared amongst the staff, especially when co-workers are working on a specific project. However, if one employee does not fulfill his or her appointed duties, it may have a direct impact on everyone else who is working on that same project (e.g. waiting for a task to be completed so others can finish.) This can be extremely frustrating, but perhaps there is an answer that is being overlooked.
Consider the fact that this lazy co-worker is not really lazy, but perhaps, suffering from adrenal fatigue; while it's not only affecting the person involved, it also affects everyone in the workplace. In the workforce, individuals are expected to do the job assigned to them; however, when someone is suffering from adrenal fatigue (also called adrenal exhaustion), job performance of the sufferer as well as that of the entire team are affected.
So what is adrenal fatigue anyway? Most would say they have never heard of it. While adrenal fatigue is a fairly new hypothesis based on collective signs and symptoms, it is not considered a medical condition since there are no tests to identify it. In the human body, the adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys, and are responsible for hormonal changes in “flight or fight” situations. When the production of these hormones becomes “exhausted” from chronic stress, a person can appear to be unmotivated or lazy. Also, note that adrenal fatigue is not to be confused with adrenal insufficiency which is a disease that can be identified by medical tests and is an accepted medical term/condition.
So bear in mind that when there is a fair amount of work that needs to be accomplished, and that subsequently, when a co-worker is unable to keep up with the demand, it’s possible he or she is under chronic stress from mental, emotional or physical stress within the home environment or the workplace and may be exhibiting symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Is this something they can control? Maybe not, and although it may be frustrating, taking the time to understand the possible struggles that the unmotivated co-worker could be experiencing and showing a little empathy for them may provide a great incentive to be more patient and tolerable of future situations down the road.
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