Thursday, August 7, 2014

The 7 Commandments Of Elevator or Lift Etiquette

Rarely will you need surgery in an elevator, but if you fear a power outage, or you are adverse to standing in a limited space with a crowd of other people, you can always take the stairs.

Elevators have a way of magnifying the stresses limited space can bring on. It's a scary thought to many people. You have a group of strangers packed into a small room, suspended by only cables, as it moves up and down. It's often a very uncomfortable experience. 

In the summer, you'll most likely be dodging a variety of odors that heat simply exacerbates. You may get strong whiffs of people's breakfasts, lunches and perspiration. In winter, you can wind up squished in between heavy coats and wet umbrellas of others in the elevator with you. 

 Here are the etiquette rules one should keep in mind for elevators or lifts, to make everyone's ride a bit smoother:


  1. Before Entering Let Others Exit: Don't block the doors. Wait momentarily as the doors open to see if anybody moves or appears to be preparing to leave. If everyone stays where they are at, you've got a green light to get in.
  2. Always Face the Door if Possible: If you're looking everybody else in the face, turn around. You might be having a conversation with somebody, but let the conversation rest while you travel up or down.  
  3. What Not to Wear: Take caution not to bump others with your backpack, tote, messenger bag, yoga mat, etc... If it is hanging off of you and taking up space, attempt to put it on the floor in front of you. Do not remove your hat, coat, or gloves; again, you may bump into others or make others more anxious. 
  4. Stand Near the Control Panel: If you're among the first to enter on the ground floor and will be getting off at one of the lower floors, stand off to a corner near the door and let the others who get on, fill in the space behind you. If you're in the front and are getting off at a higher floor, step out at intervening stops, hold your hand on the door to prevent it from closing, and re-board after others have gotten off. Especially polite is to press the hold button to keep the doors open until everyone is aboard, if you are standing near the control board and won't be in anyone's way.  
    Don't block the doors.  No one can leave before you enter.
  5. Ask "Which floor?": If the lift is overly crowded and you are nearby the buttons, ask people to call out their floors so that you can press the floor buttons for them. Don't make them reach through the crowd, making everyone else uncomfortable.
  6. Hang Up Your Phone: No one wants to listen to a one-sided conversation of someone they don't know. Fortunately, many elevators have poor mobile phone reception, but for those that don't, please make your call before or after getting in the elevator.
  7. The Little Pleasantries : Never whisper to another adult in the presence of others. It will only make people around you try to listen more to what you are saying. Teach your children to be quiet in elevators as well.  It will reflect well on you as a parent, and those riding with you won't be annoyed.  If the elevator isn't too crowded, and you have a moment, make eye contact, smile, and say hello if you want to.