We’ve all been there. We just know a little drop of a ‘hmm’ emoji will clarify the meaning of our message. Or we’re so rushed, so acknowledging someone’s email with a simple ‘thumbs up’ seems perfect. But should the use of emojis at work remain a temptation only, and not cross over into your real work life?
Those in PA jobs in London are on the frontline of knowing what’s up to date and what’s not appropriate in workplace communication. Given that the wrong use of some particular emojis could land you in hot water, should you use emojis at work, and if so, in which professional communications are they ok, and in which should they never appear?
Digital etiquette of emojis at work
Emojis actually enhance our language and communications in many ways, so there’s a reasonable argument that emojis might have a place in informal workplace communication. A quick smiley face can remove any ambiguity of meaning in the text, for example.
So much of whether it’s acceptable to use emojis at work comes down to the individual culture of the organisation. In one it could be near a sacking offence, and in another you’d be out of place not to use them! You’ll need to judge the workplace emoji culture by seeing what others do. Ideally, look to the communications of people in senior roles and consider what they do.
A good basic rule of thumb is to never use emojis with clients, unless you operate the chat service and it’s been decided that smileys are acceptable. Even then, be careful. Emojis may have their place within internal communications. However, here too, it’s certainly not a free for all.
Which emojis can you use at work?
Those in PA jobs in London know that while a quick thumbs up might be acceptable on the messenger app that the company uses when their executive sends them a request, it’s not acceptable to start smattering all communications with cute hamsters or the poop emoji.
Absolute no-nos are the vegetable emojis which largely have human anatomy connotations. Steer clear of anything that’s cutesy and childlike. Most likely, anything with a heart involved could lead you into hot water.
Instead, stick to a small range of smileys and the work-related emojis that are appropriate such as tick icons and light bulbs for great ideas. Two hands in the air is widely recognised for congratulating colleagues and hands together for ‘thanks’ is also usually safe ground.
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