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Elevator Etiquette 101

Dru Brooks

We’ve all been stuck in an elevator at one point in our lives where those ten seconds felt like an eternity. The elevator probably had someone who wouldn't stop talking or had crowds that were standing too close. The truth is that in a small space like an elevator, there are several things that start to feel amplified as soon as you step in.


What You Don’t Know About Elevator Etiquette Could Be Making You Appear Rude

It is important to learn the proper manners and decorum of the elevator so that those few seconds you and your co-riders spend together are smooth and comfortable. By following a few basic and common rules of elevator etiquette you can make the ride a little more pleasant for you and the other occupants.

Entering an Elevator

Proper elevator etiquette begins the moment you stand outside to wait for your ride. It is important for you to stand away from the doors. When the elevator arrives, make sure that you stand to the right side of the doors so that the middle and the left is open for those who wish to get off the elevator. Elevator etiquette dictates that you should always let him or her exit before you board the elevator.

Once you’ve entered the elevator move towards the back of the elevator to allow others to enter comfortably. Be considerate of others traveling with you who may be exiting before you.

Speaking Sparingly

One of the biggest issues while traveling in an elevator is that people are not sure if they should or should not make small talk. There are many people who hesitate to get involved in a conversation so if you need to talk, break the ice politely. It isn't wrong to say hello to people. However, if you are boarding the elevator with someone, then pause your conversation until you get to your destination. In cases where you wish to speak to a colleague, keep the conversation simple and do not make it a spot for discussion of private information.

Staying Off Your Phone

A big elevator faux pas to avoid is talking on your cellphone while you’re riding in the elevator. It is ideal to end the conversations before you step into the elevator or you could also put your cell on mute until you exit.

Respecting Space

There is nothing more annoying and uncomfortable than having someone stand only four inches from you in a non-crowded elevator. If the elevator is crowded then try to give as much space as you can to others as well as yourself. In the presence of only two other people stand on the separate sides of the elevator. In the case of four, go to the four corners. When there are more than five people, try to spread out in a way that can give equal space to each person in the elevator.

It is also important to be conscientious of odors when using elevators. Avoid applying perfume, make sure strong-smelling items are in proper containers, and practice good hygiene. Small space can make strong odors seem even more intense.

By being mindful of the rules for elevator etiquette and being considerate of your fellow travelers, you can help make your short ride a pleasant one.