Proper Elevator Etiquette: Essential Guidelines for Safe and Polite Elevator Use

Elevators are a part of every city dweller's life. Common sense goes a long way, but respect for others goes further. Here are some guidelines that most NYC locals learned when we were young.
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Elevators have become an integral part of our daily lives, whether it is at home, office, or public places. They are a convenient and quick way to move from one floor to another, but they can also be a source of frustration, discomfort, and even danger if proper elevator etiquette is not followed.

As elevators are small, confined spaces, it is important to follow basic rules of etiquette to make sure that everyone who uses the elevator is safe and comfortable. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most important elevator etiquette guidelines that you should follow to ensure a smooth and pleasant experience for everyone.

1. Wait Your Turn

It’s essential to wait your turn before entering the elevator. When an elevator arrives, allow those who are exiting to do so before entering. If there are multiple people waiting for the elevator, let the person who has been waiting the longest go first.

2. Stand on the Right, Walk on the Left

One of the most important elevator etiquette guidelines is to stand on the right side of the elevator and walk on the left side. This allows people to pass by easily if they are in a hurry. If you need to press the button for your floor, step to the side to do so.

3. Don’t Crowd the Elevator

Another important rule of elevator etiquette is to avoid overcrowding the elevator. If there are already a lot of people in the elevator, wait for the next one to avoid making it cramped and uncomfortable for everyone.

4. Respect Personal Space

Elevators are small spaces, and it’s important to respect other people’s personal space. Try to maintain a distance of at least one arm’s length from others and avoid invading their personal space by standing too close or touching them.

5. Avoid Loud or Obnoxious Behavior

Loud or obnoxious behavior can make an elevator ride unpleasant for everyone. Avoid talking too loudly, playing music without headphones, or engaging in other activities that can be disruptive to others.

6. Limit Conversation

While it’s a good idea to have a brief conversation with someone in the elevator, it’s important to limit it and avoid engaging in loud boisterous conversations that can annoy other riders. If you need to have a longer conversation, it’s best to continue it outside of the elevator.

7. Keep Your Hands to Yourself

It’s essential to keep your hands to yourself in the elevator. Avoid touching buttons or other people without permission, as it can be intrusive, threatening and even illegal.

8. Don’t Block the Doors

When entering or exiting the elevator, make sure that you are not blocking the doors. This can cause the elevator to be delayed, which can be frustrating for other people who are waiting.

9. Be Considerate of People with Disabilities

It’s important to be considerate of people with disabilities when using the elevator. If someone who is using a wheelchair or other mobility device needs to use the elevator, give them priority. If the elevator is full, wait for the next one so that they have room to enter.

10. Follow the Rules

Finally, it’s essential to follow the rules when using the elevator. If there are signs posted with specific instructions, be sure to follow them. If there are any rules that are not posted, follow the guidelines discussed in this article.

In conclusion, following proper elevator etiquette is essential for ensuring a safe, comfortable, and pleasant experience for everyone. By following these guidelines, you can help make elevators a great place to meet your neighbor, colleague or your new best friend.

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Bradford Buonasera

3rd Generation New Yorker. Born and raised in midtown Manhattan where I grew up in the building my mother was born in, and my grandmother lived in. I consider myself a townie. With that said I love enjoying and sharing all the remarkable things that Manhattan has to offer. Unless you know the ins and outs of NYC it can be expensive. Therefore, I am here to offer all that I have learned over the past few decades on how to do New York City like a New Yorker.

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