Emojis have become a part of everyday communication. When typing a text, most smartphones will automatically suggest one in place of words. If you wear a smart watch, you have a full range to choose from to quickly communicate a message. Voice technology even allows you to dictate emoticon use in texts and emails.
The idea behind emojis is that a picture is worth a thousand words. According to the latest statistics, 92 percent of the online population uses emojis. Emoji use has become the norm when sending personal messages, but do they have a place in professional communication?
76 percent of American workers saying that they use emojis at work. Millennials, in particular, are embracing emojis as they have grown up sending short bursts of communication through texts. However, their older colleagues are less enthusiastic. Their preference is for employees to clearly spell out messages instead of relying on abbreviations and emojis to communicate.
While there’s no firm set of rules for emojis in business here are some guidelines to help you determine when it is appropriate:
Most companies today have a style guide for professional communication, both internally and externally. When a style guide is not available, carefully monitor inter-office communication and take note of emoji use. Generally speaking, emoji use is not appropriate for external communication with clients.
Even if you notice other employees are using them in internal workplace communication, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for you to use. For instance, using emojis in an email to your manager will make you appear unprofessional. Also, if you’re sending an email to a colleague that you don’t know very well, you risk having the colleague misinterpret your emoji use.
Older demographics are less likely to be comfortable with emojis or even know what they mean. When you don’t consider how the recipient would respond to your message, you risk losing credibility and respect as a professional.
In summary, proceed with caution when using emojis in internal communication, and avoid emoji use completely with external professional communication.