Rules of Elevator Etiquette

elevator etiquette tipsElevators can be uncomfortable places for many people. With strangers so close to each other, people who don’t know etiquette can make rides awkward. The next time you ride in an elevator, be sure to follow these tips to make the ride as pleasant as possible for you and your fellow passengers.

• People should exit the elevator as quickly as possible. Be patient and courteous with your fellow passengers, especially those with limited mobility.

• No matter how long you have been waiting, wait until everyone who needs to get off the elevator has exited before you try to enter.

• If the elevator is getting crowded, wait for the next one.

• Always face forward, unless you are speaking to someone. In that case, you can angle your body, but don’t stand facing everyone else in the elevator.

• It is generally believed, although not universally required, that the person closest to the buttons should ask the other passengers their destination floors and press the appropriate buttons.

• If you are carrying a backpack or large bag, hold it in front of you.

• Don’t try to be a comedian. No one will appreciate corny elevator jokes.

• If you feel a need to strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers, or if someone wants to talk to you, be prepared to discuss some general interest topics (not the weather). You can try local sports, non-political news, inoffensive workplace topics, or something related to your apartment building.

• If you have something important to discuss with your boss or a coworker, don’t do it in the elevator. Schedule a meeting or send an email.

• If someone breaks one of these rules, don’t get upset. Just smile or try to laugh and don’t let it get to you.

• If you have any doubts about whether a comment or behavior would be appropriate, keep it to yourself or wait until the elevator ride is over.


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