Should I Be Using Emojis in Work Emails?

Ask a Recruiter - Jobseeker Q&A

Ask a Recruiter

Q: I got an email from a new colleague that used an emoji. Is this normal for professional communication nowadays? Should I be using emoji in work emails?

A: “Professionalism” is a contentious matter of subjectivity, and it can vary a lot between different work environments, industries, demographics, and geographies. What may seem overly formal in one office could be too casual for another, and it’s often difficult to ascertain what the norms are, especially if you’re outside your element.  

Rather than debating what ought to be proper, remember the hard truth: humans are judgmental, and when it comes to the working world, you can (and should assume you will) be judged for anything you present in professional communications.  

Setting aside whether or not this is fair or good, we suggest leading with a neutral, polite approach to communication until you’ve built the rapport to understand what another person is comfortable with.  

Be it emoji, slang, or idioms, everybody will have different standards, and it’s best to defer to plain language if you’re not sure.  

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