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To Emojify or not to Emojify – that is the question when you write for business.

Is Emoji language allowed as part of business etiquette?

“Emojis are by no means taking away from our written language but rather accentuating it by providing a tone that words on their own often cannot. They are, in a sense, the most evolved form of punctuation we have at our disposal.” This is the opinion of Emmy J. Favilla, author of A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language, published in the BuzzFeed Age. Is there, however, a place for Emojis when writing for business purposes? 

Most say that whether you should use emojis or not, depend on your workplace or industry. Others are of the opinion that it depends on who the receiver is. Is it thus safe to say that if you know that person well enough and on a social level, it is acceptable? Emojis are part of the evolution of communication so why should it not be used? There is a saying on Quotebook.in that reads: “Where words fail, emojis speak.” Written business communication can come across as cold, emotionless and often can’t set the tone that you need your message to convey. You might want to come across as sincere or empathetic and adding an Emoji to your writing can save you so many characters and at the same time instantly attaching an appropriate emotion. 

Okay so they are readily available on most programs, email software, etc. that is true, but just because it is there, using Emojis incorrectly when you work in a corporate organisation might not be the right business etiquette.

Here’s why:

  1. Using Emojis in corporate formal business correspondence might indicate that you are not serious enough.
  2. If you do not know the recipient well enough, it might make you look incompetent. 
  3. Another problem we face, especially when communicating internationally is the fact that we might “get lost in translation.” Various Emojis might mean different things in different countries and can cause confusion if you don’t understand the Emoji and the emotion behind it in context.

If you are unsure if you should use an Emoji, rather leave it out. When dealing with formal business etiquette, it is important to know how to convey messages via written communication and use the right words instead of Emojis. Don’t rely on an icon to describe how you’re feeling. Emojis can have their place in messaging, but consider them as merely an enhancement, not a replacement and only in correspondence where you truly know the recipient socially. 

To be safe, use them sparingly, wisely and appropriately. Never use them when you have to communicate with your colleagues, clients, and bosses about important updates regarding your business or in serious situations like meetings and conferences.

Depending on every workplace, and work culture, it is mostly safe to use Emojis when you’re trying to diffuse a situation, or welcome a new employee/team member. Bear in mind that the communicator using Emojis and recipient should have a good enough relationship and understanding between them.

Learning the right way to communicate and having the proper business etiquette is vital in any business. During The Mindspa Institute’s Business Etiquette training course employees learn the hidden value – and priceless potential – of image, etiquette and protocol and how it can make a difference to their career success and the business.