For people who stay or work on the 14th floor of a building don’t have much of a choice but to use an elevator to reach their place. If you are required to return to your workplace then taking the necessary precautions like wearing a mask and using a hand sanitizer is unavoidable. Entering the small, enclosed space increases your chances of catching the virus as the distance between two individuals won’t be much. Here’s how you should deal with it.
1. Don’t forget to social distance
Your building, most probably, will have rules which would restrict the number of people that can board an elevator at a time so you won’t be seeing a stuffed elevator anymore. Buildings should limit the number of people to be six feet apart in an elevator. Even in the hallway outside the elevators, you may find circles drawn on the floor which will indicate the waiting area. If the size of the elevator is small then one person in each corner might be advisable. In addition, reduced building capacity and recommended staggered arrivals, departures, and break times might help with long waits for the elevator.
2. Step out if you feel uncomfortable
Let’s be practical, maintaining that kind of distance in an elevator is a big challenge and even if you follow the rules there’s no guarantee that others will. So, if you face such a situation which makes you feel uncomfortable then get off the elevator. For example, if you see people are stepping in when there is not enough space inside then step out instead of confronting them or if the elevator which came is already full then simply wait for the next one instead of pushing in. In any case, stay away from crowded elevators so plan your time accordingly.
3. Face mask on, always
Without fail, you have to wear a face mask in public places as it’s the best way to protect yourself. Face masks are effective at protecting people against infection, especially if they are N95 or similar respirators compared to disposable surgical masks or reusable cotton masks. What’s more important is that you do wear a mask especially in places where social distancing rules are difficult to follow including elevators. You could also wear goggles or face shields which may protect against transmission through eyes.
4. Use your elbow to press buttons
Wearing gloves is an option if you think you would need to touch anything on your way. As far as elevator buttons are concerned, use your elbow to press the desired button. Disposable gloves are only effective if you refrain from touching your face when wearing them, and if you remove them correctly right afterward without contaminating yourself, because of which it is not recommended for the general public. If not elbow then, use a tissue and discard it right after the use. Using hand sanitizers and frequently washing hands is the best method to protect yourself. So, don’t touch your face and after you get off the elevator, wash your hands as soon as you get to your workplace.
5. Talking not allowed
Talking loudly possibly could lead to the spreading of the virus therefore, some companies and buildings might even ban talking inside elevators. This is the new etiquette, so don’t worry about feeling rude by avoiding small talk with your fellow riders. Get ready to observe silence in those few minutes when you’re in the elevator.
6. Climb stairs instead of using elevators
If you think you can reach your office by climbing stairs then you must avoid using elevators. This way you have an added advantage of keeping yourself in shape as it is a good exercise. Try doing it and it will become a part of your day which will keep you fit and healthy. Take it slow and consider it a new fitness regimen.
7. Even stairs are risky
Sometimes even the stairs can get crowded which is why social distancing is required there as well. Avoid touching railings and handles and use your elbow to open doors. Don’t touch your face and wash your hands as soon as you reach your workplace.
The idea is not to scare you but to warn you about the risks so that you can take precautions accordingly and keep yourself safe and healthy.