Sending Emojis At Work Could Be Sabotaging Your Career | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Communication Can Make Or Break Your Career

It may be that you’re not the sort of man to express his witty, considered opinions in the form of upturned- thumbs, face-palms and cry-laughs. Perhaps you think emojis are best left to those born after 1995, along with Snapchat filters and the #Friyay hashtag. Even so, most of us would admit to deploying the odd 🙂 in order to soften the impact of a blunt request or critical comment. It’s shorthand for “I appreciate your help” or sometimes “I’m not really angry” – a bit like signing off with an ‘x’, only more office appropriate, right?

Well, not quite. In fact, new research suggests even the relative Luddites among us could be making a major misstep. A study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that the use of smileys in work emails – yes, even those of the ‘colon and close-bracket’ variety – cause recipients to perceive the sender as being less competent. According to the researchers, smiley emojis do little to increase “perceptions of warmth” and actually reduce your chances of receiving a helpful or informative reply.

Now, none of this is to suggest you should adopt a stern and sober demeanour in the workplace. Quite the opposite: in fact, a study in the journal Social Indicators Research found that cheerful employees were more likely to receive positive appraisals and promotions over the following 18 months. It’s more a case of assessing your priorities; of choosing to convey a sense of assuredness rather than agonising about whether or not your colleagues ‘like’ you.

So, when you can’t deliver a message in person, simply say what you mean in plain English and then sign off. You’ll be less likely to feel 🙁 when you read their response.

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