My house is always cold so getting anything up to room temperature during the winter is practically impossible. I saw Ricardo on The Food Network once put a dough into a microwave with a hot glass of water to help it rise. Just left in there with the microwave off so that it would have a small but warm place to rise. Genius!
With all the Christmas baking I did I would wake up and know that it would take all day and even then my butter and cream cheese might not be soft so I tried this technique with a giant bowl of hot water and it worked! It still took about an hour but I prefer to do this than take the risk of actually using my microwave on my butter and cream cheese.