When is it Okay to Use Emojis in the Professional World?

Gone are the days of the phone call. Banished are the letters written over time. In the digital age, we have been left with the text, the email, and the direct message.  Hardly a place for long and articulated conversation. So, what have we turned to? The emoji. It has become our catch all for showing a full range of emotions—small, big, and outsized. So how does it fit into the professional world?

No. 1 - Email

Our longest format of modern communication tends to exclude emojis in professional settings. The rule of thumb here is: if you are inclined to use one, you probably haven’t written the rest of the email well enough. Our advice is to pick up the phone and call.

No. 2 - Text

Entire conversations can be had with our personal networks using emojis. But what about the back and forth with a colleague or client? We believe in the formality of words and that they should be used to create a professional boundary that is not ours to cross first. Colleagues can evolve into friends, but clients shouldn’t, until they stop paying the bills.

No. 3 - Social Media

What did they mean by that emoji? Are they happy, or sad, or confused, or maybe they didn’t mean to use that one? Social media has become a minefield of attempting to ascertain the authenticity of each other’s intentions. Misreading cues is commonplace and the use of emojis compounds the problem exponentially. While there is a full range of emotions available, we believe cutting through the ambiguity using actual words is the quickest and easiest way to communicate your position.

No. 4 - Presentation Decks

The bane of every consultant’s existence. These tools are the most common way for us to communicate ideas to our client, our boss, or our team, and allow for some levity once in a while. Stick figures with emoji heads can be just what the doctor ordered after sitting through an hour-long presentation on the state of the company’s finances. Used sparingly and with perfect timing, emojis in this sphere can help you hit a home run with your audience!

Julian Leaver