Emojis At Work Are Fine If Used Properly [poll results]
HR Bartender graph showing poll results of is it okay to use emojis in business communications
A few weeks ago, I asked for your thoughts on using emojis in work-related communications. It was just an informal poll. And the outcome was pretty one sided. You’ll see by the chart above, that emojis are fine. But there is a caveat: Emojis are fine if you use them properly.
I’m going to define properly as three things.
We know our audience. Fast Company just published an article about the collaboration platform Slack offering a new emoji pack that includes bunny slippers and a Dali-esque melting clock. Personally, I love them. But I could see how someone else might find them a little too cheeky for work. Just like email, tone doesn’t always come across with an emoji, so it’s important to understand how the recipient will receive it.
The emoji being used is pretty well-defined. For example, we know what the “happy” emoji looks like 😀. And we know what the “I’m cold” emoji looks like 🥶. There are some emojis with a definition that may vary. I’ve seen more than one definition for the “palms together” emoji 🙏. And there seems to be some question about how to communicate “laugh out loud” (aka LOL) via emoji.
We recognize that the overuse of emojis could become annoying. A single emoji to acknowledge that you’ve read something is great. Or a couple of emojis to signal happiness, as in 🧁🍸🎈 to celebrate someone’s birthday or promotion might be awesome. But emojis are not a substitute for real communications.
So, if you’re using emojis – please feel free to keep it up. But do take a moment to ask yourself, “Am I sure that I’m sending the right message?” And if you’re not using emojis, consider dropping one in occasionally. It might help you grow engagement as you make your point.