If a lazy coworker is dragging your productivity down, a genuine offer to help might be enough to light a fire under them. Photo by genpink.
It's frustrating when a coworker doesn't pull their own weight, but you can't tell them what to do and going over their head will just cause workplace drama. That's why Alyse Kalish at The Muse suggests you bring your coworker in instead of calling them out. It might sound counter-intuitive, but offering to help can snap them into gear:
There's always a chance the reason he's slacking is really because he's stuck on an idea, or maybe confused about an assignment, or overwhelmed to the point of giving up. Simply saying, "Hey, I noticed you've been staring at your computer all day — I'm free for a bit, anything I can help you out with?" could be all he needs to get back on track or to open up. Or, best-case scenario, he might just say back, "No, sorry, just got distracted. Thanks!" and refocus on his own.
You're also, in a non-confrontational way, letting them know that your part of the work is at a good place and they might need to step it up. The trick, however, is to avoid being passive aggressive when you offer your help. Genuinely offer assistance and be polite, but at the same time don't let them hand off all of their work either.