Being crammed into an elevator with a group of strangers is an awkward experience for many people. Passengers often don’t know where to stand and how to behave toward their fellow riders. Here are some practical tips to help you on your next elevator ride.
When you are waiting for an elevator, stand to the right of the doors. This will give people who are getting off plenty of space to exit. Allow everyone who is getting off a chance to exit before you board the elevator.
When you enter an elevator, step to the back and stand close to the wall. The first spaces that should be filled are the four corners. Then people should fill in the middle of the elevator. If you are going to a higher floor, try to stand near the back of the elevator so other people who are getting off before you can exit easily.
If you are standing near the buttons, help out your fellow passengers. Hold the “door open” button until everyone has boarded and ask people which floors they are going to as they enter. If there are buttons on both the left and right sides of the elevator, one person can push buttons for everyone entering the elevator.
If you are carrying a large bag or package, hold it on or near the floor directly in front of your feet. The bag or package will take up less space by your feet than it would be your side.
If an elevator is crowded, the person standing closest to the doors exits first, regardless of gender. If several people are getting off, a couple of people at the front should step out to allow others to exit. The people who step out can hold the doors open with their hands and then reenter the elevator.
If you are standing in the back of a crowded elevator and your floor is next, tell people as soon as the elevator starts moving after the previous stop. This will allow people to prepare to move so you can exit quickly.
Be polite to your fellow passengers. Say “please” and “thank you” when someone holds the door, presses a button, or makes room for you.
If you are talking to someone when you get on an elevator, either pause the conversation or talk quietly. If you are talking to someone on a cell phone, end the call and call the person back once you have reached your destination.
Many people don’t like to talk on elevators. It is acceptable to say “hello” or “good morning,” but don’t try to make small talk. Keep any eye contact brief.