We've all seen movies about flesh eating zombies. Whether you prefer walkers or Nemesis, there's no denying that over the past couple of years the idea of a zombie apocalypse is trendy. In fact, it holds such a fascination in the minds of people across the country that even the CDC has issued survival and preparation tips in case of zombie invasion. They have lots of information about preparing for any sort of zombie attack and they even offer lesson plans and other supplies for educators. Of course, they aren't doing it because a zombie outbreak is possible, but because if you're prepared for a zombie apocalypse, then you're prepared for almost any other emergency.
While it's unlikely that you'll come face to face with a zombie, in the workplace there are plenty of walking dead. They have a neutral expression on their faces and they slowly make their way through each day, doing whatever they can to speed up the clock. A great example of this is a friend of mine who I email and message frequently. Just by reading his reply, I can tell if he is at work or not because sometimes he responds to my message and other times it's his “Work Zombie”. The work zombie doesn't have a very good sense of humor and tends to be fairly pessimistic. I'm not sure what happens to him when he sits down at his desk, but it's almost as though the life is drained out of him and in it's place is an undead office drone.
Just like horror movie zombies, this undead virus is contagious and the only way to survive and avoid being contaminated yourself is to be aware and be prepared. Here's how:
Avoid negative zombies and don't spread gossip – At any workplace there are negative people who just want to complain about everything. They hate their jobs and just assume that everyone else does too. If you agree with your boss or work hard to help the company reach its goals, they will call you a “suck up” or a “brown-noser.” Don't let this change the way you work or make you become a zombie as well. Try your best to hold on to your enthusiasm and when you find yourself surrounded, don't give in to the temptation to spread gossip and negativity yourself.
Learn to spot zombie teams and meetings – At the office, there are teams that are created to work of specific projects or to further certain goals. Often, once their purpose is achieved, the team doesn't dissolve. Instead of being put to rest, the group returns from the dead and continues to have meetings. Not only are these meetings a waste of time, they can spread the zombie virus by being a huge waste of time and a big motivation killer.
Help each other – In any sort of survival situation, banding together with others to achieve common goals is the best way to ensure that you all get out of it alive. The same thing is true with a workplace zombie outbreak. Instead of tearing down your co-worker by gossiping about how poorly they do their job, look for ways to help teach, motivate, mentor and lift up the people you work with. If you know that one of your co-workers is struggling in a specific area, ask them if there is anything you can do to help them out. A large part of working as a team is lifting each other up and the team is only as strong as its weakest member.
It takes a concentrated effort to improve office morale and to combat the zombie outbreak. The good thing is that enthusiasm and positivity are just as contagious as negativity and once you start spreading it, others will jump on board and begin spreading it themselves. It won't take long for the zombie horde to be defeated.
Have you seen the rapid spread of walking dead at your office? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Image source: The Center for Disease Control