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Elevator etiquette in office buildings, at the airport, and in high-rise apartment buildings is essential to show courtesy to others. These seven practical tips clarify some of the most frequently asked elevator etiquette questions I get:

  1. Those waiting to get on should stand aside, not in front of the elevator door, until those exiting pass through.
  2. The first one on should hold the “door open” button while the others enter.
  3. It’s a polite gesture to stand in the back if you are riding to the top floor or ground floor.
  4. When exiting, the person nearest the door (man or woman) steps off first. In a crowded elevator, men do not need to crunch aside and wait for the women to exit first.
  5. When someone in the back of a crowded elevator is ready to exit, it’s common courtesy that others provide a clear path to exit when he or she reaches their floor. Those standing in the front should stand aside or even exit briefly if necessary to let those in the back exit. The person in the back wishing to exit may say, “This is my floor, excuse me, please,” as he or she makes their way forward.
  6. When only a man and woman are in the elevator, tradition says the man lets the woman exit first.
  7. It’s okay to break the ice and say “hello” or “good morning” if there are only one or two occupants.

Rachel is trained and licensed as a Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol Consultant by the renowned Protocol School of Washington® in Washington, D.C.