Work ethics are the values possessed by an individual, which are based on diligence and hard work. It includes the belief of an individual that work can enhance his or her character. One of the many current ethical work issues is laziness. This is also referred to as indolence. “Laziness involves disinclination of individuals to activity despite the fact that they have the ability” (Ward 120). Due to this, the individuals fail to carry out their duties as required. Laziness leads to incompleteness in the workplace. It shows unreliability of a worker as well as his/her incapability to execute duties. There are many disadvantages from which a firm suffers because of lazy workers. It prevents the smooth flow of activities in a firm.

At the workplace, laziness is seen in the workers in various ways. For example, it can be seen through the failure to carry out duties. There are specific duties that are assigned to every employee in an organization. When the results of the work given are needed, a lazy individual has nothing to offer but excuses. When this behavior becomes recurrent, this individual is considered to be lazy and unfit for the job. “The other way in which laziness can manifest itself is through incomplete work” (Dimitris N. 26). Some individuals always present work that is not decent. They perform some parts of the work and leave the others hanging. This is not because they have not been offered enough time to exercise completion. It is due to their laziness and inability to meet the set objectives. This shows the lack of ethical values in an employee and identifies individuals who are not fit for their job. Lastly, individuals can complete their work, but then produce low quality results. Low quality work requires less time as compared to high quality one. Therefore, lazy workers end up spending more of their time in leisure activities. This is a sign of a worker who is not serious with the duties that he/she is assigned. It shows the lack of ethical values, and it should be punishable in any firm.

Some analysts argue that, “laziness is caused by the desire of human beings to seek leisure” (Levine 215). Most human beings like having fun and getting entertained. This is not harmful when done once in a while. However, some people have fun at the expense of their work. This is where one gets entertained during office hours just because there is no supervision. The workers waste most of the time allowed for their duties. This love for leisure to the extent of neglecting one’s work amounts to laziness. This is unethical. The accepted code of conduct in the workplace requires hard work, determination, and diligence. These all are not achievable by an individual who places considerable value on leisure activities. Therefore, this argument of laziness by economists bears some truth.

Laziness causes idleness. “The main factor that causes an individual to be idle is the lack of proper priorities” (Waldinger 171). Most individuals have the tendency to focus on the short term effects which are pleasant. They do not think about the long term negative consequences of their present actions. For example, sleeping is enjoyable and mandatory for the well being of every individual. It ensures relaxation of the mind. However, it should be done at the right place and time. Some workers extend their sleep from their beds to their workplace. This has a significant effect on the end results at the workplace. When many workers become idle, the environment created is not suitable for daily activities. Therefore, this leads to a dismal performance at place of work. In most businesses, the owners choose to keep their employees under close supervision. They make sure that no employee is idling around. However, it is ethical for every employee to be self driven. No supervision is needed for ethical employees. This is because they always do what is expected of them at all times. They value hard work and execution of duties in the right way. In the current world, there are numerous daily cases of sacking of employees. This is because of the inconveniences caused by such employees. Some firms cannot tolerate lazy workers, who only function to pull the organization behind.

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However, laziness is a relative word, especially in the world today. People had the perception of a lazy person as someone who likes resting and does little work. This is not the case in the modern world. There have been a lot of improvements in the technological sector. This has made work easier for the employees of various organizations. It has also sliced the number of employees needed by different firms (Levine 215). With these changes and enhancements in technology, employees need to work less than before. For example, a lot of tedious hard work was replaced by the introduction of computers. Therefore, the people operating the computers might need to do little to accomplish their duties. On the other hand, recent technology gives employees access to a variety of entertainment sources. For example, the internet is a popular and common source of entertainment. Therefore, an employee may seem to be extremely busy on the computer. However, he/she might be getting entertained during working hours. This reduces his/her efficiency at the workplace.

Some people argue that the management of a firm is solely responsible for success at the workplace. They think and claim that laziness depends on managers of an organization. This is partly true and partly false. Managers set the tempo for the rest of the team to follow. They act as an example that can be emulated by the lower level workers. Therefore, when managers set a pace of laziness, workers follow suit. However, there are firms that have strong management strategies and culture, and yet, poor performance. In such a scenario, one cannot claim that management is solely responsible for success of an organization. A manager can issue orders and directions to be followed by the workers. However, the manager cannot make a worker self driven or cause the willingness to work hard. These are factors which can only be controlled by the worker. A worker who upholds ethics will perform his/her tasks and duties with or without supervision. Such workers do not need proper management in the accomplishment of their duties. On the other hand, the failure of management to mobilize workers amounts to laziness. This is because it is the duty of every manager to guide the employees assigned to them towards accomplishing their duties.

Most people suffer from laziness at their workplace. As a result, this is an issue that is not spoken about in many occasions. “Sigmoid Freud came up with the pleasure principle, which brings out laziness as a virtue and a lifestyle” (Ward 120). This has been done by many scholars who try to prove that laziness is not as terrible as it sounds. For example, in the film the big Lebowski, the Dude is given this character. His lifestyle, which mainly constitutes of laziness, is admired by other characters. This shows that there are people who value laziness as a source of an interesting lifestyle. However, Leonard Carmichael claims that laziness is never discussed in most psychology books. However, this is a fact that cannot be ignored. For example, there has been constant research on the reasons of the failure of high school students. Of all the reasons given, anyone would expect the lack of ability to be first on the list. Astonishingly, it has always been second. The number one contributing factor is laziness. This shows the extent to which laziness can affect performance at the work place.

Countries whose citizens are industrious have better results than those with lazy citizens. For example, Japan is one of the leading countries in technology. This is because the citizens of the country are extremely industrious. They work for more hours than those in other countries. For this reason, they are successful. They have one of the world’s best economies. This is a perfect example of how work ethics affect end results of a firm. Also, - “most countries in the UAE have successful businesses” (Chorafas 211). This is because these businesses have workers that are not lazy. They are given the chance and freedom to make suggestions about the businesses. Therefore, they have the self drive, which amounts to work ethics. Therefore, success does not just occur. It requires the commitment and diligence of workers.


Work ethics are vital for the running of every activity at a work place. The absence of these ethics can be disastrous in the long run. Taking everything mentioned above, it is clear that laziness is a current ethical issue affecting many firms and organizations. It is an issue that should be addressed with utter seriousness in order to avoid confrontations between employers and employees. However, there are many other ethical issues that need to be addressed at the work place. Adherence to work ethics ensures self drive and responsibility for one’s actions.

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