Cramped in a small, moving space with strangers calls for a special code of conduct. Follow these tips to keep the elevator moving smoothly and your fellow passengers comfortable.
Don’t crowd the doors. Let others exit before attempting to enter. This means not forcing your way in as people are stepping off. If the car is full, wait for the next one instead of trying to squeeze into an already crowded space.
Holding the doors – nice or nuisance? Use good judgment when you see someone bolting towards a closing elevator door. Press the open door button to hold the car for them; don’t stick your limbs, purse, umbrella or any other object in the door to keep it from shutting. If it looks as if there will be a long delay, allow the door to close as a courtesy to other passengers. Make eye contact, and show you are going to let the car start moving again with a smile and friendly gesture.
Properly position yourself. When taking the elevator to a higher floor, move to the back of the car to allow others to exit and enter with minimal jostling. If you are taking a relatively short trip, stand near the door, or pick a front corner if one is available. If you are the closest one to the control panel, or if your fellow passengers have their hands full, it’s your responsibility to push the button for others who can’t reach it.
Make yourself small. If you have large packages, shopping bags, suitcases or other bulky items, do your best to keep them close and create maximum space for others. Stand facing forward and don’t place your bags on the floor. If you have multiple pieces of luggage and they won’t all fit, don’t attempt to stack them, or maneuver them between other passengers.
Chat with courtesy. Don’t spend a 20-story elevator ride talking on your cell phone. There’s no way to avoid a captive audience. Hang up and resume your conversation in the privacy of your hotel room or office.
An elevator ride lasts only a few minutes, it’s most polite to show patience and courtesy to other elevator riders.