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.27