Emoji are having a moment.  

Those silly smiley faces 🤪 and funny graphics 🥸 we exchange in emails 📧, social media apps 📱 and text messages 💬 are more popular than ever. 🙌🏻 

More than 10 billion emoji are sent on any given day and 92% of the world’s online population use them on the regular. 🤯 

Emoji are so integral to our modern daily discourse that using them (or not) can even impact your social cred among your friends and colleagues. 

According to Adobe’s 2022 U.S. Emoji Trend Report, 73% of those surveyed believe adding emoji to messages make someone: 

  • 😎 cooler 
  • 😁 friendlier 
  • 😂 and funnier 

Clearly, if you don’t already, you may want to start sprinkling emoji in your messages. 🧂 

Emoji Inject 💉 Emotion, Mood 😑 into Messaging 

As ideographs, emoji represent ideas 💡 and concepts independent of specific languages. Think of them like the digital equivalent of road signs 🛑 and symbols 🔣 like we use for finding the restroom.  

In theory, emoji can serve as universal images that can be understood by everyone. 

Some may see emoji as superfluous, but they do offer us a succinct, cute and clever way to convey emotion, tone and mood into our communications. 

And with more than 3,600 emoji, they have not only become an evolution of how we communicate but a new, ever-changing language unto themselves. 

Emoji Use on The Rise in the Workplace 💼  

Whether you believe people should use emoji at work or not, I have some 📰 for you: They already are — and it’s not just the youths. 😱 

Adobe’s Emoji Trend Report reveals that majorities of every generation use emoji in the workplace: 

  • 🔥 Gen Z: 78%  
  • 😂 Millennials: 78% 
  • 👍🏼 Gen X: 69% 
  • 👴🏻 Boomers: 56% 

Part of the rise in emoji use and acceptance can be attributed to remote work. As more employees work from home and resort to collaborative tools such as Slack or Teams, emoji have become easy shorthand for adding levity to messages. 

Plus, with face-to-face interactions having become rarer, emoji play a role in conveying certain physical cues that are absent in text-based communication. 

Benefits of Using Emoji in the Workplace 

As mentioned earlier, emoji use can positively affect others’ perceptions of your coolness, friendliness and funniness. 

But emoji use has more benefits than bolstering your social credibility, particularly in the workplace.  

🤝 Boost Authenticity 

My apologies for dropping the a-word on you. It has become a bit of a jargony buzzword in recent years, but authenticity remains critical in all forms of communication — particularly business. 

Connecting on a human level builds trust not only with coworkers and colleagues but customers, as well. Sprinkling emoji into your business messaging, from internal emails to client communications, helps add a personal touch. After all, we’re all human. Show your customers and colleagues you’re one, too. 🧍🏻‍♀️🧍🏼 

👀 Draw Readers’ Attention

This may come as a shock to some 🫢 but people at your business may not always be reading your communications and missives, especially if they are large blocks of text without any visual cues or breaks. 

Cue emoji for the win. 🏆 

Humans are visual creatures and emoji are great tools to inject some visual spirit to help grab readers’ attention. Emoji use has been shown to boost engagement, so don’t be afraid to spice up those emails and marketing messages with relevant emoji. 🎯 

Cut Down on Communication Clutter 

Emails. Notifications. Texts. Dings. Chimes. Sounds. There’s a lot of clutter in today’s communication landscape. Again, emoji can help us weigh in where needed without adding to extra comms clutter. 

According to a survey from Slack, 54% of global respondents believe emoji use helps speed up workplace communications. 

After all, rather than type out a response to various messages, a well-placed emoji can relay that you received a message 🫡 or finished a task  

🚨 Emoji User Beware: Potential Drawbacks in the Workplace 🚨  

Although emoji are becoming more widespread in the workplace, there can be pitfalls. Before you decide to go all-in and communicate exclusively via emoji, consider the following. 

Emoji Definitions Aren’t Universal 🫤 

Sure, meanings for some emoji may seem straightforward and universal. But people bring their own personal experiences and generational perceptions to emoji definitions. 

For example, the internet had a field day this fall when older generations learned that members of Generation Z find use of the 👍🏼 rude or passive aggressive. 

Although such examples may seem 🙄 to some, rather than wring your hands and bemoan the follies of youth, you can take a moment to consider who you’re responding to. 

Better yet, ask your colleagues and coworkers about their emoji usage and perceptions to avoid inadvertently offending them. Think of this like how you might ask someone for their pronouns or how to pronounce their unfamiliar name. 

Emoji May (Still) Make You Look Incompetent 😒 

Some people may perceive employees who use emoji in the office as less competent and professional. 

This is backed up somewhat by research, including a 2017 study that found using a smiley emoji 😊😁🙂 in work emails makes the sender seem less competent to the recipient. 

Perceptions of incompetence can negatively affect individuals’ careers and employer trust. 

Emoji use has only exploded since this study was done, and likely these perceptions may not be as strongly held today. But emoji are still a new and evolving form of communication. It’s best to remember that, even with their benefits, some may still ☹️ at emoji use in the workplace and professional settings. 

Elevate 🛗 Your Emoji Game 🎲 

Looking to boost emoji use in your business messaging? The experienced team at Aker Ink can ensure your emoji use is 🎯 and 🔥 to enhance your workplace culture and drive sales 📈. Learn more about our range of services.