Happy Face, Fist Bump, Thumbs Up: OK to Include in Workplace Communications?

Nearly four in 10 (39%) senior managers interviewed by OfficeTeam said it’s unprofessional to include emojis or emoticons in work communications.

Twenty-one percent said it’s fun, and 40% said it’s fine in certain situations.

One-third of office workers indicated they never use them and prefer to express themselves in writing, while more than one-quarter (26%) said they use them sparingly because they feel it doesn’t appear professional. Twenty-two percent of office workers reported they use them sometimes but limit usage to casual exchanges with coworkers and not formal communications with higher-ups, and 19% use them all the time because they help them show the feelings behind the message.

“Emojis and emoticons are showing up just about everywhere, but that doesn’t mean they’re always appropriate for the workplace,” says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “While using these symbols can help employees convey their feelings and personalities in written communications, they can also be distracting and appear unprofessional.”

The surveys include responses from more than 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 350 U.S. workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments. 🙂