Become Your Office Superhero

April 22, 2016

Superheroes are everywhere these days, from the movie theater to the toy aisle to the bookstore. And why not? We’ve all fantasized about having a superpower, saving the day, wearing a cape (okay, maybe not) and getting the accolades. It’s really no different once we step into the office. While everyone’s working for the success of the business (and, yes, a paycheck), sometimes you want to be the superhero for your coworkers, to do that one thing that keeps the office running smoothly and makes someone’s day a little easier—even if it’s yours. Here are 4 easy things you can do to be the superhero in your office.

Clear your calendar – This one may get you a heartfelt “thank you” faster than anything on the rest of the list. With a significant number of workers citing too many meetings as a productivity drain, people feel like there are too many meetings and not enough getting done. Have a look at your calendar—are all of the meetings on it necessary? Could any of them be solved by an email, phone call or drop-by someone’s desk? Could any of them be shortened by 15 minutes or a half an hour? For most people, getting time back from meetings is like finding money in the jeans you threw in the washing machine: bonus!

On your mark, get set… print – Remember the scene from Office Space where the guys gather to beat the printer to a pulp? There’s nothing more frustrating than needing to print a big presentation or report and, at the last minute, find your printer’s malfunctioning or you’re out of ink or paper. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to head fickle tech off at the pass, but you can stay stocked up. Buying ink and toner in multi-packs makes it easier to have a backup on hand when the need is urgent and the time is running short.

Make a break for it – You have a to-do list several pages long and growing and a few hundred unread emails that somehow managed to pile up over the last few days. How are you going to get through everything you need to do? Take a break—and encourage those around you to do the same. Want to be the hero of your office? Supporting employees taking a break by providing a good example, encouraging breaks and making the breakroom a comfortable, stocked place to recharge and reemerge ready to tackle work is one way to buckle on your cape and save the day—and it’s proven to make workers more effective.

Keeps the germs at bay (and away) – This one might be more of a lesson in how not to be a supervillain. Feeling the sniffles coming on? Croaking when you talk? Excusing yourself from a meeting every 10 minutes because you can’t quell your coughing? Go home or risk being the villain in your own story. 82% of workers are worried about catching their coworkers’ germs, but 28% think it shows extra initiative to come to work while ill, ultimately spreading illness and cutting down productivity. And what if you’re blessed with super-immunity and never get sick? Consider being the hero who reminds decision makers to stock up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes: these can help cut down illnesses by up to 70% in the workplace.

Whether you’re the Meeting Vanquisher or the Germ Hunter, we salute your superpowers and appreciate them—there’s always room for more heroes in the office! Now, where did I put my “ordinary worker” disguise?

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