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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  • Pictured here are Sinai Nurse Volunteers from decades ago. Today — as back then — #SinaiHospital prides itself on its exceptional nursing care. #TBT

    lifebridgehealth: "Pictured here are Sinai Nurse Volunteers from decades ago. Today — as back then — #SinaiHospital prides itself on its exceptional nursing care. #TBT"
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  • The months of June, July and August average more auto accidents than any other time of year. Buckle seatbelts, reduce distractions, obey the speed limit, and NEVER drink and drive. #WednesdayWisdom

    lifebridgehealth: "The months of June, July and August average more auto accidents than any other time of year. Buckle seatbelts, reduce distractions, obey the speed limit, and NEVER drink and drive. #WednesdayWisdom"
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  • #SinaiHospital's housekeeping team knows the importance of bringing a little fun into the workplace. To play off their creative skills, employees participated in a fun towel folding contest. Not only could team members showcase their knowledge, talents, and skills, but they could also bring smiles to the patients' faces. #TeamLifeBridge

    lifebridgehealth: "#SinaiHospital's housekeeping team knows the importance of bringing a little fun into the workplace. To play off their creative skills, employees participated in a  fun towel folding contest. Not only could team members  showcase their knowledge, talents, and skills, but they could also bring smiles to the patients' faces. #TeamLifeBridge"
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  • To celebrate the kick-off of #LifeBridgeHealth's annual #employee giving campaign: "Get in the Game," staff across our organization had fun taking part in many activities including gift basket raffles and pie eating contests, all in support of the LifeBridge Health Fund and #UnitedWay.

    lifebridgehealth: "To celebrate the kick-off of #LifeBridgeHealth's annual #employee giving campaign: "Get in the Game," staff across our organization had fun taking part in many activities including gift basket raffles and pie eating contests, all in support of the LifeBridge Health Fund and #UnitedWay."
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  • Emergency care has always been a staple service at #SinaiHospital. Today, our ER and Trauma Center are among the best in the state. Happy 150th anniversary, Sinai!

    lifebridgehealth: "Emergency care has always been a staple service at #SinaiHospital. Today, our ER and Trauma Center are among the best in the state. Happy 150th anniversary, Sinai!"
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  • After an exhausting workday, exercising is probably the last thing you want to do. But getting your sweat on will actually energize you. According to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute, moderate intensity exercise session. #WednesdayWisdom

    lifebridgehealth: "After an exhausting workday, exercising is probably the last thing you want to do. But getting your sweat on will actually energize you. According to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, fatigue along with mood and depression improved after a single 30-minute, moderate intensity exercise session. #WednesdayWisdom"
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  • “Teamwork is our motto and that is how we function each day,” says Nurse Manager Michele Stiller of the Northwest Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics. This center, which sees about 500 patients every month, helps patients with chronic non-healing wounds, such as pressure ulcers and complicated surgical wounds. #TeamLifeBridge

    lifebridgehealth: "“Teamwork is our motto and that is how we function each day,” says Nurse Manager Michele Stiller of the Northwest Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics. This center, which sees about 500 patients every month, helps patients with chronic non-healing wounds, such as pressure ulcers and complicated surgical wounds. #TeamLifeBridge"
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  • Congratulations to our four #SuperStar employees for June! Your hard work and commitment to #TeamLifeBridge is truly inspiring. Thank you for all that you do. (From top left to bottom right: Charles Nehwah of #SinaiHospital; Rolawn Patton of #NorthwestHospital; Rachel McDaniel of #Levindale; and Laura Lehman of #CarrollHospital)

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to our four #SuperStar employees for June! Your hard work and commitment to #TeamLifeBridge is truly inspiring. Thank you for all that you do. (From top left to bottom right: Charles Nehwah of #SinaiHospital; Rolawn Patton of #NorthwestHospital; Rachel McDaniel of #Levindale; and Laura Lehman of #CarrollHospital)"
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  • #TeamLifeBridge is proud of Thomas Glenn, a business development analyst for #LifeBridgeHealth who recently swam in the #US #olympictrials.Great job, Thomas! #TeamUSA #Rio2016

    lifebridgehealth: "#TeamLifeBridge is proud of Thomas Glenn, a business development analyst for #LifeBridgeHealth who recently swam in the #US #olympictrials.Great job, Thomas! #TeamUSA #Rio2016"
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  • In 1895, #SinaiHospital became one of the first to devote an entire ward to treating #children. In the 120-plus years since then, we have offered exceptional #pediatric care to thousands of children in and around #Baltimore. Did you receive care at Sinai as a child? Share your story today! www.sinai150.com #TBT

    lifebridgehealth: "In 1895, #SinaiHospital became one of the first to devote an entire ward to treating #children. In the 120-plus years since then, we have offered exceptional #pediatric care to thousands of children in and around #Baltimore. Did you receive care at Sinai as a child? Share your story today! www.sinai150.com #TBT"
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