#emoji #appropriate #inappropriate

Hitting the headlines again has been the suitability of using emoticons, otherwise known as ‘emoji’s’ in professional communications.

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Emojis are based on symbols from Japanese comics and express emotion through digital communication, the idea being that they are to invoke a reaction.

When are they used

Emojis are used in emails to show the recipient how to interpret a message rather than directly convey emotions. A common use of an emoji is a smiley face after a line that is intended to be a joke, or to display happiness.

Whether the use of emoticons is unprofessional is always subject to much debate. Many people are of the view that they are fine in moderation and depending on the context of use, for example a single smiley face in a professional email between colleagues is likely to be considered acceptable. Multiple use of emoticons may be considered immature, unprofessional and perhaps even rude.

Why are they a problem

Issues often arise due to misunderstandings that can arise when emoji’s are used, they can often be misinterpreted or get lost in translation.

A whole new world

Emoji’s are being used more commonly especially as millennials continue to make up a larger percentage of the work force and there is a wide spread use of social media in the workplace.

If you own a business and consider the use of emoji’s and abbreviations unacceptable in the workplace, it is recommended practice to have a bespoke policy that sets out use of emojis and type of written communication in the workplace.

A policy can usefully set out what is expected of employees and what can happen if they fail to follow the same; for example disciplinary action.

A policy can be tailored for your business to set out the parameters of use of emojis and certain language specific to the audience of the business. It can make it clear to employees that the onus is on them to ensure that they know their audience, use the correct emoji’s and if in doubt, to use words instead.
For further advice on drafting a bespoke policy regarding use of emoji’s, social media, and email please contact Miss Kaajal Nathwani on 020 8363 4444

Or kaajal.nathwani@curwens.co.uk

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