If someone is not using their time efficiently thereby causing extra work and delays to other colleagues obviously this is something to report to the manager to deal with.
But when the usage of the time is really wrong, e.g. too many breaks, is it something that can be mentioned to the person directly or to the manager or is it unprofessional to be so specific about the other person's behavior?
At times the person in personal discussions when asking a deliverable faster is kind of provocative complaining on the deadline constraint issues when it is her lack of focus that is causing the problems and I am really close to saying: "If you didn't do so many breaks etc"
Note: I am not her manager


1 Answer 1


The key point is whether the resulting effect is in, or affects your area of responsibility.

E.g. if she delivers some components that you use, so her tardiness causes downtime for your own team as you're waiting for her, then report this as an issue to whoever oversees your progress (your manager/teammates at an appropriate meeting/etc).

If not, the most you can do is draw her attention to the perceived issue and offer to give some advice/help -- whether she feels something needs to be done and/or will take you up on your offer is completely up to her and is none of your business. Whether to mention this to her manager highly depends on your (general and corporate) culture -- whether it's perceived an acceptable informal help or vilified as implying that they can't do their job properly.
After all, you can't honestly know if this is really an issue to begin with. E.g. maybe her line of work requires lots of thinking over before doing a few decisive actions.

Now that you confirmed it's the second case and are asking about how specifically to approach her.

If it has nothing to do with your work relations, you're going to be interacting informally -- as acquaintances/comrades-in-the-same-boat (a healthy, productive workplace is your mutual interest I suppose).

So, approach her as you would do another acquaintance in a similar situation. This would again highly depend on your local culture. I (in my culture) would probably catch her in an informal environment -- e.g. beside the office cooler -- and approach with something like: "I've heard you complaining much lately about not being able to get things done and it seems to be bothering you a lot. I think I just might be able to help if you're interested."
Being specific or not does not have anything to do with professionalism here. Do whatever would be appropriate in your culture to demonstrate that you aren't trying to force anything on her and solely see a possible opportunity to make a big improvement to your mutual benefit as a good fellow and colleague -- that would be professional.

  • I know for sure about the issue is of time management and there is nothing about me not knowing her line of work. I know exactly what she does or needs to be done by her to finish something. Your remark draw her attention to the perceived issue is exactly the question I am asking. Do I draw attention on the specific behavior (bad usage of time/waste of time) or is being vague more professional?
    – Jim
    Mar 29, 2018 at 19:01
  • @Jim see the update Mar 30, 2018 at 3:05

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