Kathryn Lindsay
Updated Mar 28, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

Those of you reading this article instead of doing your work are in luck: a study published last month in Nature reports that lazy people are actually necessary for sustainability in a society. That is, for insect society. However, this could mean good things for lazy humans in the workplace as well.

Here’s what the study found:

So, yes while yes, lazy people are lazy, they serve an important function of picking up the slack when the hard workers start to tire out. These lazy ants made up a “reserve workforce,” according to the study, who didn’t do much in the beginning, but who effectively replaced the ants who immediately started their tasks with gusto and ran out of energy.


“In the short term, lazy ants are inefficient, but in the long term, they are not,” Eisuke Hasegawa, professor of agriculture at Hokkaido University in Japan, explained to NPR.

If you think about it, we’ve definitely seen this happen in our real lives as well. When we’re at the end of our rope, feeling like we’d rather keel over than read through what we’re working on again, those workers who are still in tip-top condition (likely from hours playing Fruit Ninja on their iPhones) provide a fresh pair of eyes, catching mistakes our weary minds might have missed.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it is fair, though. Why do some people have to work while others coast? That question may never be answered, but at least we no longer have to worry about lazy people ruining our mojo. If these findings can indeed be applied to humans, then one day you’ll have your turn to be lazy. Just wait.