October 04, 2013, 12:09 PM — Cell phones and music players are ubiquitous in today's office and with that, the potential for accidentally being rude to your coworkers - especially in the elevator.
Vicky Oliver literally wrote the book on 21st century business etiquette and tells Forbes' Susan Adams that people can unknowingly commit two gadget-related faux pas in the elevator daily.
Listening to music
I’m wearing headphones, that’s polite, right? Not so much.
“Wearing earbuds is like putting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on you,” she notes. The act projects a standoffish image, that you don't want to interact with your metal box-commuting brethren. And that's not a representation you want to embrace. Yes, everyone does it, Oliver says, but that doesn't make it right.
Unless you're riding the elevator alone, hold off until you get to your office otherwise, "that’s acting like you’re in an isolation tank," she says.
Oliver makes a good point: Elevators are a great place to forge and improve business relationships: "If you want to get ahead, you have to break out of your cocoon."
Soft skills are the key to standing out amongst your peers, getting promoted and even avoiding a layoff. The ability to socialize, communicate and interact in the office are prized now more than ever; take advantage of opportunities to improve them and network with your colleagues. You never know when it will come in handy.
Click below for more of Oliver's new rules of business etiquette.