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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  • @marchofdimes honors two #LifeBridgeHealth Hospitals, #SinaiHospital and #CarrollHospital, for their hard work and dedication to help give more babies a healthy start in life. #MarchOfDimes #Babies #HealthBaby #LiveHealthy

    lifebridgehealth: "@marchofdimes honors two #LifeBridgeHealth Hospitals, #SinaiHospital and #CarrollHospital, for their hard work and dedication to help give more babies a healthy start in life. #MarchOfDimes #Babies #HealthBaby #LiveHealthy"
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  • #BaltimoreOrioles pitcher Brian #Matusz was a big "hit" with patients,families, and staff during his visit to #SinaiHospital. Thank you to the @caseycares Foundation for organizing the visit! #LifeBridgeHealth #Orioles

    lifebridgehealth: "#BaltimoreOrioles pitcher Brian #Matusz was a big "hit" with patients,families, and staff during his visit to #SinaiHospital. Thank you to the @caseycares Foundation for organizing the visit! #LifeBridgeHealth #Orioles"
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  • Happy Fourth of July from our #LifeBridgeHealth family to yours! Have a safe and wonderful holiday. #july4th #independenceday #usa

    lifebridgehealth: "Happy Fourth of July from our #LifeBridgeHealth family to yours! Have a safe and wonderful holiday. #july4th #independenceday #usa"
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  • Snow in July at Sinai! Employees got a sweet treat to kick off summer when two #snowball trucks rolled into #SinaiHospital earlier this week, serving up more than 1,800 snowballs! Check out our photo album. So what's Sinai's favorite flavor? Most people chose to mix their flavors while many chose classics like egg custard, cherry and pina colada. Some employees even took a "snowball selfie" with their favorite. What about you? Share your favorite flavor on your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtag #LifeBridgeHealth. #Baltimore

    lifebridgehealth: "Snow in July at Sinai! Employees got a sweet treat to kick off summer when two #snowball trucks rolled into #SinaiHospital earlier this week, serving up more than 1,800 snowballs! Check out our photo album.

So what's Sinai's favorite flavor?  Most people chose to mix their flavors while many chose classics like egg custard, cherry and pina colada. Some employees even took a "snowball selfie" with their favorite. What about you? Share your favorite flavor on your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtag #LifeBridgeHealth. #Baltimore"
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  • Congratulations to #SinaiHospital and the VSP program, recently recognized by the National Fund for #Workplace Solutions as a "Young Employer Champion." The hospital earned this recognition for its proactive hiring practices and systems designed to foster young employees. Members of the VSP team accepted the award at a recent event. Sinai Hospital was one of just 11 employers from across the country to receive this honor. #Baltimore

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to #SinaiHospital and the VSP program, recently recognized by the National Fund for #Workplace Solutions as a "Young Employer Champion." The hospital earned this recognition for its proactive hiring practices and systems designed to foster young employees. Members of the VSP team accepted the award at a recent event. Sinai Hospital was one of just 11 employers from across the country to receive this honor. #Baltimore"
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  • #TipTuesday Use smaller plates to help your portion control and avoid overeating this holiday weekend. #independenceday #july4th

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday Use smaller plates to help your portion control and avoid overeating this holiday weekend. #independenceday #july4th"
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  • We are so grateful for the McKesson Foundation, which provides #GivingComfort kits to patients, like Darnell Grant, undergoing treatment at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute. The kits include comfort items, like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines, snacks and more, all meant to soothe our patients and provide them with hope during such a difficult time. #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "We are so grateful for the McKesson Foundation, which provides #GivingComfort kits to patients, like Darnell Grant, undergoing treatment at the Alvin & Lois Lapidus #Cancer Institute. The kits include comfort items, like soft blankets and socks, inspirational messages, books, magazines, snacks and more, all meant to soothe our patients and provide them with hope during such a difficult time. #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • #LifeBridgeHealth was pleased to host more than a dozen #Japanese health care executives and #doctors from the Nihon Hospital Alliance. Through their conversation and exchange of ideas, LBH executives and clinical leaders learned more about the Japanese health system while sharing about changes in the U.S. health industry, ranging population health to genetic research. #HealthCare #Clinical

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth was pleased to host more than a dozen #Japanese health care executives and #doctors from the Nihon Hospital Alliance. Through their conversation and exchange of ideas, LBH executives and clinical leaders learned more about the Japanese health system while sharing about changes in the U.S. health industry, ranging population health to genetic research. #HealthCare #Clinical"
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  • #TipTuesday: Now that summer is here, we want to remind you about the importance of protecting your eyes from the #sun. By wearing #sunglasses with proper #UV protection you can help reduce the risk of cataracts and other #eye damage. #CataractAwarenessMonth

    lifebridgehealth: "#TipTuesday: Now that summer is here, we want to remind you about the importance of protecting your eyes from the #sun. By wearing #sunglasses with proper #UV protection you can help reduce the risk of cataracts and other #eye damage. #CataractAwarenessMonth"
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  • #SinaiHospital pediatrician Dr. Joseph Wiley received some big hugs and #support Friday when he spoke at the "Ribbons in the Sky" #event, which raised awareness about #SickleCell anemia - an inherited blood disorder affecting 100,000 Americans. #LifeBridgeHealth #SickleCellAwareness #SickleCellWarrior #HealthCare

    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital pediatrician Dr. Joseph Wiley received some big hugs and #support Friday when he spoke at the "Ribbons in the Sky" #event, which raised awareness about #SickleCell anemia - an inherited blood disorder affecting 100,000 Americans. #LifeBridgeHealth #SickleCellAwareness #SickleCellWarrior #HealthCare"
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