Emojis: Hate them or love them, they're here to stay. In the last five years, emojis have infiltrated every aspect of our personal lives and, now, they're beginning to creep into our professional lives.
The question is, are they appropriate? Are they welcome? A large percentage of Americans say Yes.
Ten years ago, in the age of emoticons, there was a hard line drawn when it came to professional settings. With the growing ubiquity of emojis, though, it's not uncommon to open your inbox and be greeted by hundreds of yellow smiley faces.
"We use emojis as part of our daily social media engagement strategy," Taco Bell social and digital experience manager Jozlynn Rush said in a recent interview with Robert Half. "Connecting with fans on our social media channels as a friend would is really important to us because it helps build deeper relationships with them. We use emojis to add emotion and fun to conversations."
Not everyone agrees with Rush, though.
"You really need to think about what the goals and intentions for your communication are in order to determine what is appropriate, especially in a work setting," etiquette expert and author Daniel Post Senning said. "I tend to tell people that it's best to defer to a more formal standard in terms of business communications."
In the most general terms, experts agree that context matters. Be sure to become a MEMBER of the emoji club before using emojis in a professional setting.
While emojis may be appropriate in place of text, they can come off as less appropriate in email, which is generally thought of as a more formal way of communicating.
Will using an emoji be an effective way to communicate your message to the recipient? Is there any room for confusion?
What is the tone of the conversation? If discussing something serious or important, emojis might not be appropriate...even with close colleagues.
Is using emojis within your brand guidelines? Does it fall in line with the company’s Core Values?
Think of how the emoji may make the other person feel. In professional settings, emojis should never be used to tease, berate, mock or cause harm to any person.
Experts agree that context and relationships matter when sending an emoji. Sending a text with emojis to a long-time college is completely different from sending one to a potential parent.
By using the MEMBER strategy, you should be able to navigate the world of online etiquette with ease and skill.
What are your opinions on emojis in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below!