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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  • As a sponsor of #Baltimore's 2017 Light City festival, #LifeBridgeHealth was thrilled to join city leaders, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, for today's announcement about the bigger, bright and bolder festival coming this spring. It was excited to hear about the amazing art, music and cultural events that are planned. #LightCity2017

    lifebridgehealth: "As a sponsor of #Baltimore's 2017 Light City festival, #LifeBridgeHealth was thrilled to join city leaders, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, for today's announcement about the bigger, bright and bolder festival coming this spring. It was excited to hear about the amazing art, music and cultural events that are planned. #LightCity2017"
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  • Congratulations to our January #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar #employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond, every day. We appreciate all that you do! Thank you. #TeamLifeBridge From top left to bottom right: Jill Horn of #CarrollHospital; Catherine Oyedeji-Ojo of #SinaiHospital; Sylvester Campbell of #Levindale; and Donna Miller of #NorthwestHospital

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to our January #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar #employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond, every day. We appreciate all that you do! Thank you. #TeamLifeBridge 
From top left to bottom right: Jill Horn of #CarrollHospital; Catherine Oyedeji-Ojo of #SinaiHospital; Sylvester Campbell of #Levindale; and Donna Miller of #NorthwestHospital"
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  • #Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (second from left) stopped by #SinaiHospital today for a tour. He is seen here with Dr. Jonathan Ringo (Sinai Hospital interim chief operating officer), Neil Meltzer (LifeBridge Health president and CEO), Martha Nathanson (LifeBridge Health vice president of government and community development), George Mitchell (Neighborhoods United president) and Dr. Scott Brown (chief of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai). #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (second from left) stopped by #SinaiHospital today for a tour. He is seen here with Dr. Jonathan Ringo (Sinai Hospital interim chief operating officer), Neil Meltzer (LifeBridge Health president and CEO), Martha Nathanson (LifeBridge Health vice president of government and community development), George Mitchell (Neighborhoods United president) and Dr. Scott Brown (chief of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai). #LifeBridgeHealth"
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  • This week in our #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet our Health Information Management Coders. This hardworking group of professionals is responsible for assigning codes that describe a patient’s care and diagnoses. These codes are then stored and used to support billing, quality reporting, and reimbursement programs. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare #Employees

    lifebridgehealth: "This week in our #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet our Health Information Management Coders. This hardworking group of professionals is responsible for assigning codes that describe a patient’s care and diagnoses. These codes are then stored and used to support billing, quality reporting, and reimbursement programs. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare #Employees"
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  • Why was #WBALTV 11 talking to members of a local #motorcycle club at #NorthwestHospital? On January 11, tune into the 5:00 pm news and learn how this club is helping women with #breastcancer. This story is part of #BuddyCheck11, our partnership with WBAL that encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast #selfexam. #LifeBridgeHealth #Prevention #Cancer

    lifebridgehealth: "Why was #WBALTV 11 talking to members of a local #motorcycle club at #NorthwestHospital? On January 11, tune into the 5:00 pm news and learn how this club is helping women with #breastcancer. 
This story is part of #BuddyCheck11, our partnership with WBAL that encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast #selfexam.
#LifeBridgeHealth #Prevention #Cancer"
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  • Shoveling #snow is a moderate-intensity #exercise that often results in injury when done incorrectly. To avoid injury this season it’s important to take the extra time to be prepared, and use proper form and equipment – your legs, back and heart will thank you! #Winter #InjuryPrevention #WednesdayWisdom

    lifebridgehealth: "Shoveling #snow is a moderate-intensity #exercise that often results in injury when done incorrectly. To avoid injury this season it’s important to take the extra time to be prepared, and use proper form and equipment – your legs, back and heart will thank you! #Winter #InjuryPrevention #WednesdayWisdom"
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  • #LifeBridgeHealth wishes everyone a healthy and joyous 2017! #NewYear

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth wishes everyone a healthy and joyous 2017! #NewYear"
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  • Let’s meet this week’s representatives of #TeamLifeBridge: our Telecom Department! With 15 operators and two team leads, the #LifeBridgeHealth Telecom Department is available 24/7 to provide a wealth of information to our customers. We appreciate all that you do and the 24/7 commitment you make to our organization. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #EmployeeOfTheWeek #HealthCare #CustomerService #Spotlight #Appreciate #WorkHard

    lifebridgehealth: "Let’s meet this week’s representatives of #TeamLifeBridge: our Telecom Department! With 15 operators and two team leads, the #LifeBridgeHealth Telecom Department is available 24/7 to provide a wealth of information to our customers. We appreciate all that you do and the 24/7 commitment you make to our organization. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #EmployeeOfTheWeek #HealthCare #CustomerService #Spotlight #Appreciate #WorkHard"
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  • #LifeBridgeHealth teams are showing their caring this season! In the spirit of the #holidays, the entire Therapeutic Recreation Department of #Levindale decided to cancel their annual #giftexchange and instead bought #gifts for a local family in need! They say they hope their contributions bring some #holiday cheer to their adopted family! (not pictured: Amanda Bojan, Shellia Lavezzary) . . . #GiveBack #HolidaySpirit #CommunityOutreach

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth teams are showing their caring this season! In the spirit of the #holidays, the entire Therapeutic Recreation Department of #Levindale decided to cancel their annual #giftexchange and instead bought #gifts for a local family in need! They say they hope their contributions bring some #holiday cheer to their adopted family! (not pictured: Amanda Bojan, Shellia Lavezzary)
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#GiveBack #HolidaySpirit #CommunityOutreach"
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  • Our #LifeBridgeHealth employees and patients had a great time getting into the holiday spirit at our annual facility #holiday parties. On behalf of our team, we'd like to wish everyone a very safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. . . . #SinaiHospital #NorthwestHospital #Levindale #Celebrate #HolidayParty #EmployeeParty #OfficeParty #Healthcare #Maryland #2016

    lifebridgehealth: "Our #LifeBridgeHealth employees and patients had a great time getting into the holiday spirit at our annual facility #holiday parties. On behalf of our team, we'd like to wish everyone a very safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.
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#SinaiHospital #NorthwestHospital #Levindale #Celebrate #HolidayParty #EmployeeParty #OfficeParty #Healthcare #Maryland #2016"
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