New CBI guidelines have been issued designed to help ease the anxiety experienced by 98.8% of City of London office workers when having to share a lift with strangers or colleagues.

Brian Payne, a completely self-centered futures trader, is just one typical case. ‘I hate getting into a lift with anyone as I never know what to do or say. My palms get sweaty and I begin to feel faint. I just look at the floor and grit my teeth hoping I don’t fart or shout out ‘fuck’ involuntarily. It’s now become a phobia because our offices are located in a thirty storey building.’

‘The sense of relief when I arrive at the floor I want is palpable,’ he adds. ‘I keep having this recurring nightmare where I’m trapped between floors with Jacob Rees-Mogg and Piers Morgan. I wake up terrified and drenched in cold sweat, although I know that’s got nothing to do with lifts.’

Professor of Elevator Psychology (yes really… only in America) Dr Otis Thyssen says: ‘Mr Payne is a textbook case. However if he was to simply look his co-workers in the eye and make a comment about last night’s ball game, or perhaps mention the weather, then there’d be no problem.’

Meanwhile the guidelines suggest a coping strategy of peering intensely at your phone as soon as the lift doors open, further advising that under no circumstances consider sharing a lift with someone who looks like they might be ‘a bit chatty’.