We’re all familiar with using smiley faces on Facebook, in text messages and so forth, but is it appropriate for employees to use emoticons at work, especially on an enterprise social network where messages can gain more visibility? Let’s look at the two sides.
- emoticons convey tone and other nonverbal cues
- neutral messages are often viewed as negative, ex: “Can you send me the report? Thanks.”
- emoticons saves time, making messages shorter and more functional
- emoticons are viewed as unprofessional or lazy
- emoticons imply that you don’t trust the reader to understand the written language
- emoticons signal a loss of meaning in our writing
Can you create the report? : )
The smiley face made the messenge seem insincere like the sender is trying to convince them to be happy about the task.
If you plan to use emoticons at work, here are some tips:
- Only use smiley faces (winky faces and frowns are not acceptable)
- Do not use a smiley face after saying something negative
- Do not use a smiley face when asking a co-worker to do something for you
- Only use smiley faces to convey real happiness or a sense of humor
- When in doubt, don’t do it