Elevator Etiquette: You Are Being Polite Enough?

There are many rules for proper behavior, but not many of us are aware of the fact that they apply to riding in the elevator as well. Here are a couple of tips on elevator etiquette.

Calling the Elevator

To spare yourself and others the trouble, try to be aware of the direction you want to take and press the right button. Keep in mind that if you call an elevator that is going down, board it and then press the button for going up, you will get some disapproving looks from the other passengers.


A few seconds of patience will go a long way. Before you even start approaching the elevator door, wait for them to open. There is always a chance that the elevator is crowded and you wouldn’t want to look like you are pushing your way inside.

After you have let all the other passengers exit the elevator, take a look around to see if there is anyone who should be allowed to board first, such as disabled people and pregnant women.

Standing in the Elevator

Yes, you can choose the wrong place to stand. Whenever it is possible, leave enough room between the other passengers and yourself. This is why it is recommended to stand as close to the elevator walls as possible. Also, if you want to avoid having to press the buttons for the passengers that can’t reach them, you should try to get to the back of the elevator.

Even eating and talking on the phone are considered impolite, since by doing that, you give the passengers no other choice but to watch you eat and listen to your conversation.

Every time someone needs to get out of the elevator, you should make sure that you are not blocking their way. It is allowed to step out of the elevator to let the other passengers exit.

Although many would say otherwise, holding the door for someone who is trying to board the elevator is not required of you. You can do it if there is enough room for another person, and if you think that the other passengers wouldn’t mind. However, keep in mind that holding the elevator door can cause an accident and put the passengers at risk.


Yes, you should have an exit strategy in case you get stuck. If the elevator is crowded, there is only so much you can do to avoid getting into other people’s personal space. This is why you should choose a way to announce that you are exiting. A simple “excuse me,” or even a subtle cough will do the trick. By doing this, you will make it easier not only for the other passengers, but for yourself as well.

Whatever you do after the elevator stops, never try to push your way out of it. Apart from being rude, this is also an unnecessary action, since most people will do their best to stay out of your way, and you won’t miss your stop that easily.