11 May Does corporate Emoji use get a smiley face or a thumbs down?
What’s cute, yellow and has the ability to convey emotions technologically without using any words? Yes, you guessed it. Emojis. Whether we are sending a text to our friends or tweeting about what we had for lunch, there is an emoji for every occasion and they have taken us all by storm since 1999. Although we have mastered the art of using emojis when engaging in informal chat can the trend cross over into professional communications?
Let’s try this out, which one would you receive better?
“I can’t make this meeting today, I have way too much on. One of you email the minutes over afterwards.”
“I can’t make this meeting today, I have way too much on. One of you email the minutes over afterwards 😊.”
You can’t deny that our little yellow friends do automatically lift the intended ‘tone of voice’. However, there are a number of different elements to think about when looking at the topic of corporate Emoji use, one of which is the context. What is the message about? Is it a serious matter? Perhaps if It is, the emojis should be left out just to be on the safe side.
When sending a message via email it is sometimes hard to determine the way it would have been said, even if you know the sender well. In this case, emojis can be used to clarify the sender’s intent e.g. using a smiley emoji can convey that the message was written in a light hearted way.
Who are you sending the message to? Is it your line manager or another senior member of the team? If you are new, it’s best to get a gist of the cultural dynamic within your place of work. Try asking a peer whether exchanges with senior members of staff are usually fairly formal or informal. If your manager is laid back and friendly then they probably won’t be offended by emoji use. (I’d probably stay away from the smiling poo though)
If we are looking at this topic from the perspective of a CEO or a manager with many employees, emojis can be used to make them come across more approachable and less intimidating getting a warmer response from members of staff. Allowing emojis into the work place can totally change the dynamic of the environment, helping to build great relationships.