A new survey of American’s work communication habits has shown that over three quarters now make use of smiley face icons in their office emails as the ubiquitous text message icons spill over from the private sphere into the workplace.
Whilst workers are becoming increasingly confident in their use of such imagery in communications with their boss this adventurism only extends so far however, with 60 per cent limiting themselves to the basic yellow smiley and sad faces.
Eschewing more raucous iconography such as pandas, frogs and eggplants such contrivances are being dug out as a means of adding a layer of emotion to communications that may otherwise go missing
The phenomenon has been identified by USA Today columnist Steven Petrow as being driven by the growing band of Millenials in the workplace, who’ve grown up with a childhood spent text messaging.
He carries some words of warning however for anyone tempted to try their hand in the medium, warning that such techniques should be used sparingly and not used in the presence of a boss or new client and don’t just tack a smiley face onto the end of a sarcastic message in the belief that it will neutralise the attack.
Petrow also offers up a sound piece of advice to newcomers to the field, never use an emoji if you don’t know what it means.