Should You Use Emojis in Business Communications

Should You Use Emojis in Business Communications?

October 28, 2016   Instant Messaging

It doesn’t matter if you are communicating with friends and family via text message, email, or instant messenger, you know that emojis may come into play from time to time.

But here’s an important question to answer: is it okay to use emojis in business communication?

While some people see no problem with this, others are unsure as to whether or not it is acceptable. For this reason, it’s imperative to take a look at both sides of the argument. This will give you a better idea of what you should and should not be doing in regards to emojis in the workplace.

Before we get into “workplace emoji etiquette,” let’s first examine a few key points.

First and foremost, you need to answer the question of what are emojis?

Google defines the term emoji as follows:

“A small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, unless you don’t have much experience with electronic communication, you’ve probably sent or received an emoji at some point.

Things to Consider

Now that we have that out of the way, it’s time to move onto the real question: is it acceptable to use emojis when communicating for business purposes?

Unfortunately, there is no right and wrong answer to this question. Instead, it depends on many factors, such as:

  • Who you are communicating with.
  • If the other party has used emojis when communicating with you in the past.
  • If your company has a policy in place against the use of emojis.

Let’s start with the first point. If you’re communicating with a coworker, somebody you have a close relationship with, it’s probably okay to use emojis to express yourself.

After all, you know this person on a more personal level, meaning that you understand how they will react to this.

Conversely, if you’re communicating with your boss, a key client, or a prospect, it’s probably best to leave emojis out of the conversation. Even if you think this could add some life to your communication, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you want to do is put somebody off because of your decision to insert an emoji.

Moving on, ask yourself this question: has the other person used emojis when communicating with you in the past?

If the answer is yes, it’s safe to assume that they are okay with you doing the same in the future. This doesn’t mean you should go overboard, but it does mean you can work an emoji into the conversation from time to time, as long as it makes sense.

Finally, you must consider if your company has a policy in place in regards to electronic communication. If they do, read through this carefully to ensure that you know what’s expected of you.

Most companies don’t specifically make note of how or when to use emojis, but you may be surprised to find a passage on this. If the use of emojis is prohibited, don’t test the waters. Instead, leave these out of all business communication.

The Benefits

In the past, using emojis for business communication was a big no-no. However, things can and will continue to change with each passing day.

Emojis are all the rage in today’s world, so it’s only natural for a growing number of companies to get on board with this idea.

There are many benefits of using emojis in business correspondence, including the following:

  • Gives people the opportunity to more easily express themselves.
  • Adds a personal touch to conversations that are not taking place face to face.
  • Some employees are more likely to communicate when they find it to be fun.

The Downside

There is one primary potential downside of using emojis in business communication: it can be taken the wrong way by the other party.

For example, you may think that sending an emoji to a client is a great way to express yourself. However, the other person doesn’t know what you are trying to say, thus becoming confused with your message.

This is why you need to take great caution when using emojis in a business setting. As noted above, there is a time and place for this. Also, there are situations in which you’re better off sticking with good old fashion text-based messages.

The Use of Emojis is on the Rise

In addition to personal communication, the use of emojis in the workplace is also on the rise. This includes emojis in email, emojis in text messages, and emojis in instant messages.

Whether or not you use emojis in business communication depends on your personal beliefs, business approach, and company policy.

As the days go by, don’t be surprised if you find that more companies begin to use emojis.