Common Elevator Habits

We all have them. Or at the very least, we’ve been witness to them: elevator habits that everyone seems to do. Let’s take a look at a few of those habits and maybe get some closure as to why we do them repeatedly.

Elevator Habits

We stare at the numbers: Being on an elevator with a car full of strangers can be daunting even to the most social of adults. Beyond the normal pleasantries about the weather, what else can we say? Once we’ve run out of common ground, we tend to withdraw back into ourselves. Rather than stare at the other person or make awkward conversation, we stare at the numbers above the doors as they pass from floor to floor.

We move to the corners: If you’re alone on an elevator, you stand in the middle. When someone else gets on, you move to a corner. As more and more people get on, everyone tends to shift to their own corners in order to give each other an appropriate social distance, says NPR.

We press the close button: Everyone wants to feel like they have control over the doors closing. However, that myth has for the most part, been busted. According to research from NY Magazine, pressing the door-close button will not cause the doors to close any faster. Thanks to the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, the doors need to stay ajar long enough for those in a wheelchair or on crutches to get inside. While the door close push button is operable when the car is on independent service of fire service, it is generally not effective for actually hurrying the process. The same is true for walk signals at many crosswalks. Buttons like these, along with office thermostats, for example, are called “placebo buttons” designed to give the illusion of control.

We don’t always wait for passengers: If we think we can get away with it, we allow the elevator doors to close as we see a colleague running to catch it. We shrug, say “I tried!” but really – did we? Research shows that about 30% of people have intentionally let an elevator door close even when they saw someone running for it.

We face the doors: This is probably for convenience, as we can commit another common elevator habit at the same time (watch the numbers), plus we’re right at the exit when the doors open. Only a small percentage of elevator riders will ride facing the other occupants, or towards the back wall. This is a curious and uncomfortable way to spend an elevator ride, so we don’t recommend doing this!

These are just a handful of things we tend to do without even thinking when riding an elevator. Another habit can be waiting to perform needed service or repairs to our existing elevators. Is your elevator in need of service, repair or parts? Call Mowrey Elevator for more information. We’ve been in the elevator industry for the past 40 years, designing, manufacturing, and installing more than 15,000 elevators for all types of commercial buildings and private residences.