To Use or Not to Use: Emojis in the Workplace?
As we’ve moved into the mobile age, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single soul who hasn’t used an emoji before. Even so, emojis have a mixed reputation. In casual conversation, they’re considered welcome additions to standard text. In the office, however, they can be received with less enthusiasm.
Even so, there may be some benefit to utilizing emojis in a professional setting.
As millennial professionals start to enter the B2C and B2B workforce, you may be able to use emojis to better connect with your new peers.
What’s the Emoji Appeal?
The impact of emoji use will vary based upon the recipient.
For example, 46 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 think that using emojis in work emails or copy is entirely appropriate. Fifty-three percent of that same demographic believe that emoji use in a business setting even makes it easier for them to connect with potential clients.
Older generations in the workplace, however, heartily disagree with this assessment. To this demographic, use of an emoji in a professional space is not only unprofessional, but it’s also alienating. With this in mind, you’ll need to be aware of your audience when deciding whether to use a business-tangential emoji.
Setting Your Tone—with Pictures
One of the benefits of utilizing emojis in business copy is their sense of fun. Emoji use makes many people feel as though the user is more approachable and trustworthy. If you’re looking, then, to connect with either a younger demographic or with an easy-going client, then emojis can help you do so.
Likewise, email-marketing campaigns can benefit from the use of emojis. If you want your business to come off as fun, inviting, and youthful, then using emojis at work will help you capture that essence.
Beware Mixed Messaging
That said, you still need to be careful with the emojis you choose to use. Emojis are interpreted differently by all sorts of people. Take, for example, the peach emoji. To an unaware party, use of this emoji could be a reference to a competitor’s food truck or company. To the internet-savvy, however, the peach emoji has a much more charged meaning.
There’s more to a professional emoji choice than social embarrassment. This kind of variation in interpretation has had legal consequences in the past. In Israel, one landlord was able to sue prospective tenants who responded to one of his texts with a series of celebratory emojis. While your consequences may not be so severe, it just goes to show that you need to be careful with your means of communication.
Tips and Tricks
If you’re thinking about integrating emojis into your work copy, keep the following in mind:
- What emojis can you use while representing your business, and which are off-limits?
- Are there forms that can benefit from emojis and others that can’t?
- Who’s in charge of determining emoji best practices?
Emojis are, without a doubt, here to stay. They’re still finding their place in the business world, though. For now, use them with care, and you’ll find that they bring new leads to your business.
Image attribution: Foxstudio – stock.adobe.com