Have you ever confronted a colleague angrily over a chat message that you later realized you misunderstood? Or have you ever unwittingly offended a colleague with an email that didn't convey the tone you wanted? Chances are, the answer is "yes, this happens all the time." You might find it difficult to interpret tone within digital communication, and you're not alone. Kelton Global conducted a survey in 2014 and found that 81% of workers have a hard time conveying accurate emotions, especially negative emotions, using digital technology.
In personal communication, the solution is extremely simple: emoticons and emojis. You use emoticons to accurately express emotion in a way that a pure text message might not be able to, and to inject some personality into the conversation. So why not bring this proven solution into the workplace? Some might object that emoticons and emoji are unsuitable for the work environment, but the truth is, anything that directly helps productivity and bring employees more in sync with one another should be welcomed by businesses.
Thankfully, the aversion to emojis is rapidly fading. Already, at least 75% of American workers find it acceptable to use emoticons in work conversations. At the same time, the increasing dispersion and mobility of workers means they have fewer chances of meeting in person, which increases the possibility of misunderstandings across locations. Emoticons can certainly go a long way to mitigate this.
(Another interesting finding: Kelton Global found differences in the way genders denote positivism. Men like to use the “thumbs up” emoji while women prefer the “smiley face” emoji.)
Time and again, the enterprise world has rejected, and then wholeheartedly adopted technologies that consumers have found to be effective. Think the smartphone. Think the use of social media. Even the Internet did not see much traction among businesses for a long time! It's time to embrace whatever helps improve communication amongst employees, and if that's introducing emoji into the conversation, let's do it.
Lua now allows users to include emojis within text messages. Empower your employees to communicate their intentions more clearly. Strengthen cohesion in the workplace, and watch colleagues find even more joy in working together.