Do you follow EE: Elevator Etiquette?



I am sure you are professionally well behaved in the office as well as outside when you are with your colleagues. It is also important to follow some basic etiquette when you are in the elevator.

These tips will help you before you get into the elevator. These could come in handy when you are in your skyscraper office, staying in a multi-storey apartment, or shopping at a mall.

Before you get in:

  • Stand away from the door opening. DO NOT board the lift unless you are sure no one is getting off on your floor. If there is someone exiting, allow them to clear the door before attempting to board.
  • Give chance to people reporting to work. For example: if you are taking the elevator at 2:00 p.m. IST after your lunch, there might be other people who might be coming to work in their shift. Ideally, you should give preference to them as they will be rushing to their desk to report to work.
  • To save yourself from embarrassment, always check the direction of the lift before boarding. If you cannot see an indicator lamp, politely ask the passengers which direction the lift is traveling. DO NOT stop the doors from closing to do this.
  • In general those standing nearest the door should be allowed to board first. Gentlemen should allow ladies to board first to the extent that this is practical.
  • Holding the door for someone that is running toward the lift is only appropriate when it is empty or there is consensus among the passengers that it is ok to wait.
  • It is inappropriate to block an elevator door from the outside for any reason. Do not abuse the safety devices built in to the elevator door. Refrain from sticking feet, hands, umbrellas, briefcases or other items in between a closing elevator.
  • If you are taking the elevator after your cigarette break or after your lunch, make sure that you use a mouth freshener. The stink of cigarette or raw onion could make others feel uneasy in a closed elevator.

Just When you enter:

If you are going up or down one floor, use the stairs! This could be observed during peak traffic times like morning and afternoon rush (except if you are injured or require special assistance). Taking the stairs for 3-4 floors could be good for your health. If you are physically fit, you should take the stairs. People having heart problem or asthma should avoid to take the stairs.

  • If you arrive as a door is closing, regardless of how many people are in the car, DO NOT press the button. WAIT for the door to close completely before pressing the button.
  • If pressing the call button would require you to push through someone, it is acceptable to ask someone else to push the call button for you as long as they are not further away from it or unable to reach the button for you (i.e. coffee in their hands, etc.)
  • Do not stretch your hands or legs between the doors to avoid the lift doors from closing. This could lead to injury.

When the door closes:

  • One should stand as close to a wall as possible. Consider your destination floor and stand near the back if you are going to a high floor. If you know you are getting off shortly, stand toward the front. If you choose to stand near the buttons, understand that you may have increased responsibility. Always stand facing the door.
  • Conversations in the elevator are generally discouraged, however, it is acceptable to continue a conversation that was started before boarding as long as it is not clearly irritating others in the car. Avoid lewd jokes and topics that could offend others.
  • If you are using an elevator while sick, consider waiting for the elevator to arrive empty. The close proximity of an elevator makes it a good place for germs to be transferred.

Steps to follow while exiting:

  • Gentlemen should allow ladies to exit the elevator first unless you are blocking the doors.
  • When standing between someone trying to exit and the door, do your best to move out of the way for them. If necessary, exit the elevator, allow them to leave and re-board.


Usage of Elevator when traveling abroad (onsite):

  • People in the western countries use the word ELEVATOR. They might not know the word LIFT, So they might give you a blank expression, if you ask for the lift
  • Do not rush to board the elevator as if you are going to catch the Mumbai Local train. It is considered discourteous if you rush to take the elevator and might push other people in the process.
  • Do not crowd the elevator. In India, the population is high so there isn’t any option but in foreign country, give people their space. This is not Noah’s Ark. You can always board the next available elevator
  • In most of the European countries, people first give chance to others to board the Elevator. You must request Ladies as well as gents to board the elevator. If other ask you to board fist, you must say thank you.
  • Do not talk in your regional language like Hindi, Tamil or Bengali. The foreigners might think that you are talking about them. If at all you have to talk, speak in English.

Worst case, if stuck in the lift:

  • Most of the elevators are designed to take care of emergency situations. The elevator might come down to 0 and reset.
  • Press the Emergency button on the lift.
  • Do not use lifts in a fire emergency – lifts could be grounded or stuck between floors and is an escape route for smoke to move up through the elevator shaft leading to suffocation and choking for people trapped in lifts. So always use stairs or the safe assembly area in the building to evacuate during a fire emergency.
  • Most of the companies sign up the AMC (annual maintenance contract) with the lift manufacturers and they clearly put the notice of the last inspection date and toll free number for complaints.

On a lighter note,

See the Jugaad done by an Indian IT company. Can you find out what is wrong in this picture below?


“Bye the way what is the fear of traveling in an elevator called?

Do you know the name for that particular Phobia?”

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