The answer is yes—with two caveats that I’ll explain in a moment. Thanks to millennials, which are now the biggest generation in the American workforce, our future communications will likely be loaded with emojis and emoticons. In 2015 alone, the use of emojis tripled over 2014. The beauty of emojis is that they can add what’s often missing in our texts and emails – intention and tone.
A Scandinavian study on email in the workplace found that emoticons/emojis “provide information about how an utterance is supposed to be interpreted.” They serve as cues to context—as markers of positivity, jokes or irony, and as hedges to strengthen or soften our thanks, greetings, requests, and corrections. In the absence of body language and vocal inflection, people will often read a negative tone into our electronic communications. Enter the emoji! They can relay our intention in a straightforward manner when we are unable to do so face-to-face.
Now for the caveats. First, choose your emojis wisely. Stick to the basics, nothing flirty or rude. Second, don’t use them with a client or superior unless they use them first. This is new territory in the workplace and with all new things, my advice is to always be the second to try something new, not the first. 😀
© Jill Bremer 2016