Say Hello To The Emojis At Work

The Emojis have arrived, are you ready for them?
The Emojis have arrived, are you ready for them?
Image Credit: Theus Falcão

So can we talk about our old friend: Mr. Email? I really don’t care how many social media tools you are currently involved in, I’m more than willing to bet that email is still your primary means of communication when you are at work. Now comes the big question: how good are you at using email? This can be a tricky question to answer because most of us despite our IT manager training use email in a “fire and forgot” mode. Is it possible that there is a better way to use email at work?

Say Hello To Emojis

So we appear to have a problem with our primary means of communicating in the office. No matter how well we use our IT manager skills, the emails that we send are all missing some important information. This information is telling the people who get our emails how we are currently feeling. Since, unlike voice mail, there’s no tonal inflection in an email when they get our emails they are left wondering what we really meant. Did we send this email when we were angry or is that just the way that they are interpreting our written words?

The good news for all of us, perhaps, is that Emojis have arrived in the workplace. What are Emojis you ask? They are the small smiley faces, hearts, flags, and other small pictures that have been installed on our smartphones, chat, and email programs. Once installed, they started to show up just about everywhere – including at work.

Ok, so they are there. However, are people actually using these things? The answer is yes. A recent survey of rank and file workers revealed that more than half of them said that they had used Emojis to communicate at work. Additionally, it turns out that more managers than workers approved of their use in the workplace. What this means is that IT managers are starting to understand that Emojis can be used to manage the emotional tone that you are conveying at work.

How To Use Emojis At Work

Now that Emojis have arrived, what’s an IT manager to do? Well one of the first things that you are going to have to do is to take the time to learn just exactly when you should be using these things. A study of the workplace usage of Emojis revealed that workers were more likely to use a smiley face in an email if they were making a request of someone that they work with.

IT managers can make use of Emojis in order to do a better job of communicating with email. When an Emoji is added to one of your emails, it can soften the tone of what you are asking people to do. When you do this, it can change how your team views you. You’ll come across as being less authoritative and more familiar with your team.

The reason that IT managers would be willing to use Emojis in their emails is to provide the reader with a clue as to their emotions when they were writing the email. The reason for this is because our written communication has a habit of coming across as being terser than our spoken communication. However, be careful. You need to take a careful measure of the department’s tone before you start adding Emojis to your emails.

What All Of This Means For You

As IT managers, the primary way that we communicate with our teams and with the outside world is via email. However, email has a number of drawbacks to using it. The biggest of these drawbacks is that since we don’t have any way to add tone to our emails, the receivers of the email don’t really have any way to determine what our emotions were when we wrote the email.

The good news is that Emojis have arrived in the workplace. These small pictures can be added to emails in order to communicate to the reader what we were feeling when we wrote the email. It turns out that people are already using Emojis as a part of the emails that they are sending. More often than not, they’ll use them when they want to get someone to do something. You can use Emojis with your emails in order to soften their tone when you are telling someone to do something. Emojis can share your feelings with your readers and this will make you more approachable to your team.

As with every new tool, Emojis hold both great promise and just a little bit of risk, Before you send an email that is loaded with Emojis to someone, you are first going to have to make sure that they are the type of person who is going to be able to understand what you are doing and to use the Emojis to get more out of your email. If the people that you are sending your emails to are open to this new way of communicating, then your emails can be used to do some IT team building and will start to take on a life of their own!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: In a single email, how many Emojis do you think is enough and how many do you think is too much?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As an IT manager, we spend a lot of time talking with people. We discuss projects, careers, families and even where we want to go to lunch today. All of this conversation is a critical part of our job. What this means is that we need to find ways to use our IT manager skills make these conversations count – we need to connect.

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