If you have a smartphone, you’ve used or at least know of emojis. The cute images that you can add to messages, captions or contact names – yeah those.

Since the release of emojis, a dilemma has arisen regarding whether or not it’s appropriate to use them in the workplace. While several companies frown upon their use in daily functions, other companies use them frequently. Emojis that cohere with a brand can add personality and style to an otherwise boring email.  

Although emojis can provide greater emotional context and save you some time while typing out a message, it can be very easy to misuse them in the workplace.  

According to business.com, here are some concerns with emojis in the workplace: 

  1. Not universal: Andrea Lehr, a brand relationship strategist at Fractl, says that there is no universal agreement on what specific emojis represent. Emojis can get lost in translation, as people use and interpret them differently.  
  2. Make you seem less competent: Some studies have shown that using emojis makes workers appear less competent and that several managers think it isn’t professional to use emojis in emails and other work communications. 

On the other hand, here are some instances where using emojis in the workplace might be acceptable: 

  1. Informal environment: Context plays a large role in determining whether it’s appropriate to use emojis for work purposes or not. If your work environment is informal, it’s probably more acceptable to use emojis. However, always steer clear of using emojis with people you don’t know very well, including perhaps your boss or customers.
  2. Younger audience: Make sure you know the demographic of your audience. Millennials and the younger generation overall will likely respond better to an emoji sent in an email than older people. 

Above all, make sure you understand what the emoji means. If it fits the context of the message you are trying to relay, you’re good to go.

After reading this blog, what are your thoughts about including emojis in work communications?