Emoji in Work Communications
Careers advice

Do Emoji Have a Place in Work Communications?

We use emoji almost daily when we are talking to friends and family that we might be tempted to slip the odd smiley face into a work email. Is there any harm in using emoji at work?

When Chevrolet dropped a press release typed entirely in emoji, it sparked a discussion about what role emoji have in workplace communication.

Emoji are becoming the new standard in our everyday communication.

It wasn’t long ago people were discussing BLOCK CAPS and the use of exclamation points in work emails. Now project management tools like Slack have them incorporated into the software.

The big question is: ‘Should you adopt emoji at work or leave it in WhatsApp?’


Emoji in Work Communications Pros:

  1. You can use emoji to convey emotions and provide context about a discussion or situation that’s impossible through text-only communication
  2. Emoji show your personality especially if you work in a creative space or have a great company culture that supports freedom of expression
  3. Emoji can enhance the workplace culture when you use them with your colleagues in casual conversation. They remove certain barriers and make you appear more approachable
  4. There is wider acceptance of emoji in different industry or sectors now so if you can’t beat them join them
  5. With over 1000 to choose from you can create a lasting impression and clearly communicate your point with the right choice of emoji

Emoji At Work

Emoji in Work Communications Cons:

  • If your boss or senior management team does not use emoji in their communication, probably they will not appreciate them in your emails
  •  Beware! Emoji support varies across platforms and devices. That grinning face on your iPhone might turn into a scary yellow blob on an Android phone
  • Clients may perceive your use of emoji in their communications as unprofessional
  • Unfortunately, delivering bad news with an emoji can be highly inappropriate. Even though the frustrated or sad face emoji may convey the sentiment perfectly 🙁
  • People interpret emoji differently. At work you run the risk of miscommunicating your point especially if you do not know your colleagues that well

Incorporating emoji into your work communications is going to be entirely dependent on your job and how internal communication is structured. The key takeaways are to know your audience, stay professional and limit your use to casual emails at work (where appropriate).