Elevators are supposed to be a convenient and quick way to get you from one floor of a building to another. But sometimes, a quick elevator ride can be the longest couple of minutes of your life.
People who don’t follow basic elevator etiquette can make a simple trip into an ordeal. With that said, if you don’t want to become that person inside the elevator, here are 10 elevator etiquette rules every civilized citizen must know about.
Elevator Etiquette No. 1: Live by the ‘two-flight’ rule.
This basically means, skipping the elevator ride if you’re just going one or two flights up or down.
The reason? The elevator is a small space that quickly gets crowded. By insisting on squeezing in when you aren’t going that far, you’re taking up space that could have gone to someone else. You’re also prolonging the ride for other people by forcing the elevator to stop every few floors.
When you skip taking the elevator because you’re only going two flights, you are skipping the judgmental stares of your fellow elevator riders. You’re also getting some light exercise that will do your body good.
Elevator Etiquette No. 2: Don’t cut the line.
Late for class or for work or just in a rush? Whatever your reasoning is, never ever cut the line. See to it that those people who arrived first are the first ones to board the elevator.
Other passengers are not responsible for your tardiness. You should learn to respect the line and wait for your turn just like how everyone else did.
TIP: Elevators are usually busy during the mornings, so try and make it a point of arriving 5 mins earlier or better yet take the stairs.
Elevator Etiquette No. 3: Don’t block the doors.
If you are waiting for the elevator, wait for the people inside to disembark first before getting in. Do not be a bulldozer shoving and bumping everyone that comes your way.
Also, if you are at the front and the elevator stops on a floor that is not yours, let other people get out. If ever, take a step out of the elevator to give way to those alighting passengers.
Follow this rule and everything will be organized. You will also be able to avoid raising the stress levels of yourself and other passengers.
Elevator Etiquette No. 4: Elevator buttons are not keyboards.
Under all circumstances, avoid pressing the wrong buttons.
Unlike keyboards, elevator buttons have no backspace control which means if you accidentally pushed the wrong keys, there’s no way you can turn it back.
Also, if you’re far from the elevator buttons, don’t bump or jostle others just so you can press the buttons. Just say, “Excuse me, would you mind pressing (your floor) for me? Thank you!”
Goes without saying that, if you’re in the position to answer someone’s request for you to push the button of their floor, do it.
Elevator Etiquette No. 5: The elevator is not a powder room nor a dining area.
Good hygiene must be practiced anytime and anywhere, even when you are riding the elevator. You don’t want to be drawing much attention towards yourself if you are spreading certain kinds of odors, good or bad.
Never ever spray perfume nor apply lotion inside the elevators. What is fragrant to you may not be for other people—and worse, it can even make them sick.
Avoid applying makeup, chewing gum, or opening or eating food with a strong smell. You should also be wary of bringing or drinking coffee or any kind of beverages.
Elevator Etiquette No. 6: End phone calls before entering the elevator.
Before riding an elevator, end whatever phone call you are having, personal or business, urgent or not. No one in the elevator needs to hear your conversation.
Talking on your phone in the close confines of an elevator will just annoy other passengers. You’re already sharing a small space, no need to share your problems or even your happiness with a group of uninterested strangers.
Elevator Etiquette No. 7: Maintain proxemics.
Proxemics is the study of human behavior in relation to public and private space. This involves how most of us view the public and are viewed in the public by the public at the same time.
With this said, we should always keep in mind how we affect other people especially when we are in public places such as the elevator.
Although elevators are for everyone, each of us still has our own private spaces and that should be respected by everybody.
For example, if you happen to be just two people inside the elevator, you both might as well occupy the opposite sides of the elevator rather than staying on one side.
Same goes with four or five people. You should spread and occupy the whole elevator evenly so that you will not go over each other’s personal space.
Elevator Etiquette No. 8: Mind your belongings.
Whenever you ride the elevator and your carrying a lot of things with you, be mindful of the area that you and your stuff are occupying. Avoid taking up more space than you have to.
For example, if you are carrying a backpack, put it in front of you or at the floor instead of at your back so that the space that it will take can still be occupied by another person.
Elevator Etiquette No. 9: The game of doors.
To hold or not to hold? This is by far the hardest decision that you will make whenever you ride an elevator.
Whenever you find yourself stuck in this situation, keep in mind that what will matter the most is what will benefit more people.
If you decide to hold the door for a single person who is still quite far from the elevator, you may end up inconveniencing the many people already in the elevator with you. In cases like this, what you need to do is assess the situation.
What if this time, same scenario, single person versus the many others waiting inside, but that single person is carrying a baby and a stroller? Cases like this will really test your decision making.
What you should do is hold the elevator, especially if its not really that crowded, as long as you can see that the person approaching is hustling to catch it.
And please, never close the door inches from another person’s face. That’s just unforgivably rude.
Elevator Etiquette No. 10: Always face the door.
As much as possible avoid making eye contact. And if by accident you did, a good nod and a smile can save you. Shift your attention and pretend that nobody else exists but you because that is just the case for them as well.
Elevator etiquette is nothing like rocket science. It is a basic knowledge all of us should know and remember by heart.