Social Loafing in various organizations, corporate, offices and social groups

Social Loafing

What is social loafing ?

Social loafing is a psychological phenomenon where individual people when working in a social group tend to put less effort to achieve a given target .  This effect takes places in various organizations, corporate, offices and social groups.
My experience with social loafing ?
Following are the incidents where I experienced social loafing in different forms :

  • Lack of responsibility  :  In my first group project in undergraduation we were part of a group and were assigned a task.In individual setting it was easier to put responsibility but In a social group it was easy to hide behind the crowd. When people know that they are not individually responsible for the outcome , they put less effort to achieve the target.
  • Unequal effort : While working for a company named Inkoniq I experienced that the level of effort put is dependent  on the nature of person involved in the group. Some people tend to take a lot of responsibility while others do not like a lot of work and want to get buy minimal amount of work. This leads to unequal work distribution and thus less productivity.
  • Non Cohesive Groups: There was once a situation where one of our group had people with different abilities.The group was non-cohesive and thus some people were not able to perform to their maximum, The lack of effort resulted in conflict among the group member or indulgence in unproductive activities.
  • Lack of motivation : An individual’s motivation to work hard stems from the anticipation of comparable reward. In a social group often the reward is minimized due to less focus on individual but on the whole group. This lack of proper reward makes people less motivated to put their best effort.

How to avoid social loafing ?
  • Communication : There should be efficient communication between team members to understand the requirement . Communication should also minimize  the unequal work distribution. Efficient communication also ensures that team feels properly rewarded and appreciated.
  • Collaboration : A team`s productivity is sharply increased when team members collaborate with each other instead of trying to put down each other. Collaboration can be fostered by team building games , events and gatherings.
  • Flexibility : There should also be flexibility to include different types of individuals within a group. Team members should be able to choose the kind of work they feel most comfortable with. Project should also be distributed in such a way that right kind of work is assigned to person with competency to complete it.


Social loafing is a real phenomenon which can be witnessed in many organizations and can be productivity poison. It can take many shape based on culture and type of organization. It is important to address this issues in a groups so that productivity is high and wastage of time, energy and effort could be minimized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *