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 410-601-WELL.

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  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the eight providers and 20 support staff members of the Carroll Medical Group. This large team is big enough that our patients can easily find a provider whose personality fits well with theirs, but small enough to have a warm, family-oriented atmosphere. #Maryland #LifeBridgeHealth #Employee #EmployeeSpotlight #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare"
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  • #TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!

    lifebridgehealth: "#TBT Did you know there’s a mini-museum inside #SinaiHospital? Located behind the cafeteria near the tray return, “Sinai Pride” provides a look back in time, displaying notable medical instruments, historic photos and more. Stop in and check it out!"
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  • Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM

    lifebridgehealth: "Lavish #holiday feasts can interfere with important daily routines for people with diabetes. This holiday season, manage your blood sugars by balancing your choices. Desserts with sugar can still be part of special occasions when you have diabetes. But remember that they count toward your total carbohydrates. You shouldn’t just add holiday desserts to what you would usually eat. Instead, cut carbohydrates elsewhere in your meal so that you can have dessert without adding to your total carbohydrates. #WednesdayWisdom #NDAM"
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  • Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise

    lifebridgehealth: "Ready for some #Thanksgiving leftovers? Here are some pictures from the #TurkeyTrot, which supported The Y in Central Maryland. #LifeBridgeHealth was a proud sponsor of this year's event, and our CEO Neil Meltzer was one of the starters for the race in Towson along with the Y CEO John Hoey. Thanks to everyone who participated, including many of our LifeBridge Health employees and their families. #Maryland #community #supportlocal #communityevent #run #exercise"
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  • Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. #SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare

    lifebridgehealth: "Patients, families and staff enjoyed meeting #Maryland's First Lady, Yumi Hogan, who stopped by to help out at the annual #Thanksgiving lunch at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai.
#SinaiHospital #LifeBridgeHealth #Healthcare"
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  • In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!

    lifebridgehealth: "In this week's #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet the dedicated team members of Total Women's Health of #Baltimore. This team, led by Dionne D. Oliver, M.D., works hard to communicate and collaborate with each other, not only to do their jobs effectively but to provide superb patient care. We thank you for all that you do!"
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  • #NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!

    lifebridgehealth: "#NorthwestHospital is proud to partner with Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) on a health care magnet school, the Northwest Academy of Health Sciences. We look forward to working with these amazing students who are truly the future of health care!"
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  • Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk

    lifebridgehealth: "Thanks to the #AmericanHeartAssociation for sending us this photo of #TeamLifeBridge who participated in this fall's #HeartWalk. Thanks to everyone who came out to #supportthefight against #heartdisease and #stroke. #MDHeartWalk"
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  • #DYK In 1895, #SinaiHospital became one of the first medical facilities to devote an entire ward to treating children. We continue to offer exceptional pediatric care to thousands of #children in and around #Baltimore.

    lifebridgehealth: "#DYK In 1895, #SinaiHospital became one of the first medical facilities to devote an entire ward to treating children. We continue to offer exceptional pediatric care to thousands of #children in and around #Baltimore."
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  • Nearly two dozen kids from Ohr Chadash Academy and Beth Tfiloh came to #Levindale last month to decorate the #sukkah, a temporary shelter constructed for the #Jewish festival of #Sukkot. We are so appreciative of the colorful and festive #art they created as well as for their time and enthusiasm #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "Nearly two dozen kids from Ohr Chadash Academy and Beth Tfiloh came to #Levindale last month to decorate the #sukkah, a temporary shelter constructed for the #Jewish festival of #Sukkot. We are so appreciative of the colorful and festive #art they created as well as for their time and enthusiasm #LifeBridgeHealth"
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