Emojis might be fun, but are they appropriate in the workplace?
They aren’t universal
Even if emojis might be appropriate in the moment, they don’t always work as intended. According to Andrea Lehr, brand relationship strategist at Fractl, there is no universal agreement on what specific emojis represent.
“Individuals bring their own personal experience to how they interpret an emoji, so although you might use an emoji with streaming tears after something you found incredibly funny, someone else might wonder why you’re upset,” said Lehr.
They make you seem less competent
According to a study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, emojis actually make workers appear less competent.
Additionally, an OfficeTeam survey found that 39 percent of senior managers think it’s unprofessional to include emojis in work communications. Their opinions could ruin your reputation as a qualified expert.
“Emojis are a newer form of communication, so if your recipient is mature, an emoji can make you seem less competent”
Know your demographic. As Userlike points out, older people may be uncomfortable with emojis, and may not even know what they mean.
“If you’re sending an email to a supervisor, executive or client, or work in a corporate environment, emojis may not be appropriate,” said Seamas Egan, director of sales and marketing at Campaigner. “But for millennials and younger colleagues, or in a startup work environment, emojis may be more popular and acceptable.”
If someone has a serious complaint or issue, emojis are inappropriate. Above all, don’t use one if you aren’t certain what it means, and never replace a word with an emoji, added Egan.