I have a coworker that has no problems with offloading his work or even private things on other coworkers. He does not do this with me, since I have rebuffed him once, but he does this with a colleague of mine on my scrum team.

This colleagues performance suffers, of course, if he has to e.g. help the coworker book flights or (the problematic coworker is a graphic designer, the other colleague is a developer) help him prepare to send some designs to the printer. To me it seems as if the colleague in development does this as friendship service. But he does it in his work time, where he should be doing development work...

I am not sure what to do. I could go to management, but this might escalate things more than I want, and reflect bad on me. I tried speaking about the problem with the problematic coworker but he does not see any problem. I tried to approach the development colleague but he does not seem a problem. It does clearly affect his performance though.

The two seem to identify as friends, if that is of any relevance.

The main problem is the additional load on the colleague in my scrum team, which does affect the whole teams performance. We are only three people in the scrum team, so if one can only do 70 percent we are 10 percent short! I do not care as much about the designers performance.

We have a pretty flat hierarchy in our company, we are only around 7 people.

  • Do you manage that colleague?
    – rath
    Aug 1 '18 at 16:44

Ask your co-workers whether this behaviour is bothering them.

If yes, then share the tactic that worked for you.

If no, let them do their own thing.

That's about as far as you need to take things. If your co-workers experience performance issues due to this help vampire, then it's their issue to discuss with management.


Unless you are affected directly, this is a management issue, and it is the responsibility of the affected person or persons to bring it to management.

If you take it to management, you'll be labeled the office rat and can expect to be driven off by your coworkers working to the book, tracking your every misstep, and making life miserable for you.

Ask yourself if this is a hill you want to die on.

Right now it seems that the only one with the problem is you. Keep your own nose clean, do your job, and try to get along with your coworkers. You do not want the be seen as "that guy".

Remember, the work is only part of the job, the rest is how you get along with others. If you bring this up with management, they ask questions, and the work is getting done and nobody has any issues, YOU will be seen as the issue.


Since this is a Scrum team and the performance of the team is everyone's concern, bring it up with your teammate that you feel these 'favors' may be affecting your teams performance.

It does seem, at least from your post, that these are trivial matters though, so decide if it worth rocking the boat since the overall synergy of the Scrum team is also important and too much petty bickering on what people are working on can sometimes be more detrimental that just letting this go.

  • 1
    It may be the team mate is not sure whether he or she should help, and being told that their and the teams performance are affected, that can give them the will to stand up to the help vampire.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 1 '18 at 23:13

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