Workplace Etiquette at LifeBridge Health

If you’ve ever watched "The Office" (British or American version) or the movie "Office Space," you learn a lot about workplace politeness. From the people who leave their lunch in the refrigerator until it becomes a science experiment to the folks whose phone conversations might as well be conducted on a bullhorn, the workplace is full of epic fails in the etiquette department.

Whether we work in a cubicle farm, an office or an isolated bunker in Storage Room B, we have to interact with others.  LifeBridge Health consists of a variety of work ecosystems, from conventional offices to nurses' stations to an entire fitness center. Each environment is as unique as the folks who inhabit it; however, following the Golden Rule will keep you golden in the eyes of your co-workers.

For Levindale social workers Shmuel Cotton, LCSW-C, and Felisa Cooper, LSWA, maintaining a harmonious work space is as much about what they don’t say as what they do.

“We both try to notice body language,” says Shmuel. “I can normally tell how Felisa is feeling just by paying attention to her expression when she comes into the office.”

Shmuel and Felisa have shared an office for the past two years. In that time, they’ve established their own unwritten rules.

“We respect each others' boundaries,” adds Felisa. “Since we often have very little privacy, we try to always be respectful of the other person.”

Since both of them regularly use the phone while working, keeping their voices low is a matter of both courtesy and necessity. Whenever possible, Shmuel or Felisa will excuse themselves from the office so the other can enjoy privacy during his or her call.

Though Lauren Lynch and her 10 colleagues in the Human Resources department at Sinai Hospital aren't crammed into the same office, they do share a refrigerator, microwave and copier. “We're pretty light on rules in our department,” Lauren says. “We do have one rule though," she adds with a sly smile. "If something has been in the refrigerator for more than two weeks, it will be removed.”

Surprisingly, Lauren says that the biggest challenge for her work area isn’t a messy microwave or funky-smelling fridge. It’s the allocation of common filing cabinet space. So they developed quarterly schedules in anticipation of how much space each person will need. Still, the entire department meets about once a month to check in with each other about general office housekeeping items.

With a little creativity and a lot of common sense, maintaining a two or even 10-person office doesn't have to be a hassle. However, as the number of employees expands, so do the challenges. LifeBridge Health & Fitness houses roughly 140 employees and more than 4,000 members.

"The atmosphere is unlike most workplaces in that we represent a true melting pot. We have a vast number of staff and members representing a spectrum of ages, creeds and ethnicities all interacting within one communal space,”  acknowledges Jarred Fajerski, executive director of LifeBridge Health & Fitness.

This breadth of perspective proves the old saying true: You can't please all of the people all of the time. Jarred says that communication and a team-oriented approach will help you scale most hurdles. His advice is worth following no matter where you clock in. It's especially prudent in a medical setting, where patients, nurses, social workers and other staff interact in a 24/7 workplace.

“Whether we're in our office or on the floor with patients, communication is the difference maker,” concurs Shmuel. Taking the time to check in with your co-workers, and, above all else, doing unto others as you would want done unto you will make your workplace feel like a home away from home.

-Noel Lloyd

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 866-404-DOCS.

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  • Participants in #Levindale's Adult Day Services Program had a great time at their recent #luau, complete with festive #leis. The Adult Day Services Program combines fun #social #events with #rehabilitation and #therapy to help seniors avoid long-term care. #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Participants in #Levindale's Adult Day Services Program had a great time at their recent #luau, complete with festive #leis. The Adult Day Services Program combines fun #social #events with #rehabilitation and #therapy to help seniors avoid long-term care. #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Taylor, a patient at the #LifeBridgeHealth Alvin and Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute, loves "Cherry" the #monkey. Cherry was part of Taylor's "#GivingComfort" kit, which was provided through a partnership with the McKesson Corporation. The kits are given to cancer patients undergoing treatment, and include #comfort items like soft blankets, yummy snacks, uplifting messages, and even new friends! #Health #Healthcare #CancerPatient #BeatCancer"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: If you are age 20 or older and have not been diagnosed with #cardiovascular disease, @american_heart recommends having your #cholesterol levels checked by your #health care provider every four to six years. #heart #hearthealth #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth #SuperStar employees of July! These individuals have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #EmployeeOfTheMonth #HealthCare

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth #SuperStar employees of July! These individuals have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #EmployeeOfTheMonth #HealthCare"
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  • #TipTuesday: When #exercising, breath in and out through both your mouth and nose. According to @PreventionMag oxygen helps fuel your #fat burn, so the more efficiently you #breath, the better your #workout #results will be. #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: When #exercising, breath in and out through both your mouth and nose. According to @PreventionMag oxygen helps fuel your #fat burn, so the more efficiently you #breath, the better your #workout #results will be. #LifeBridgeHealth"
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    lifebridgehealth: "The #LifeBridgeHealth team is deeply saddened by the passing of Lenny “Batman” Robinson. Over the years, Lenny has done so much to lift the spirits of our patients young and old. Here he is pictured with our own Dr. Herzenberg at our Save-a-Limb race  Earlier today, Dr. Herzenberg gave a thoughtful tribute to Lenny on @wbalradio. Our condolences go out to Lenny's family, friends and legions of fans. Lenny was truly a superhero to us. #WeAreBatman"
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    lifebridgehealth: "#SneakPeek: Exciting things are happening in the #epilepsy program at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, and we're making a #video to tell you all about it. #StayTunned to see the finish product in the coming weeks. #Hospital #HealthCare #Baltimore #FutureOfHealthCareIsHere #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • #TipTuesday: Sitting at a desk for an extended period of time can have a negative impact on your #health. “Luckily, the solutions to this mounting threat are simple. When you have no choice but to sit, try switching your slouch so you have a straighter spine.” - @medicaldaily #backpain #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: Sitting at a desk for an extended period of time can have a negative impact on your #health. “Luckily, the solutions to this mounting threat are simple. When you have no choice but to sit, try switching your slouch so you have a straighter spine.” - @medicaldaily #backpain #healthcare #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • In honor of International Assistance #Dog Week, we’d like to recognize our #loyal companions who devote themselves to #helping individuals enhance the quality of their lives. Pictured below are Laurie Walters and Puck, two #volunteers with the ‪#‎CarrollHospital #pet therapy program, which unites #animals with #patients, visitors and staff to provide comfort and affection.‪#‎IADW #ServiceDog #PetTherapy #HealthCare

    lifebridgehealth: "In honor of International Assistance #Dog Week, we’d like to recognize our #loyal companions who devote themselves to #helping individuals enhance the quality of their lives. Pictured below are Laurie Walters and Puck, two #volunteers with the ‪#‎CarrollHospital #pet therapy program, which unites #animals with #patients, visitors and staff to provide comfort and affection.‪#‎IADW #ServiceDog #PetTherapy  #HealthCare"
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    lifebridgehealth: "Don't forget to eat your #fruits and #vegetables. Every Thursday from now until September 24, #CarrollHospital will host it's #farmersmarket on the third level of the hospital's parking garage. Stop by today between 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.! #EatLocal #HealthyFood"
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