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Are Emojis a new way of expressing ourselves in Corporate Settings?


“Hi Paul! Are you able to send me the marketing reports today? ๐Ÿ˜€โ€™โ€™


โ€˜โ€™Hey Polly, Congratulations on your promotion! ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐Ÿฅ‚! You deserved it!โ€™โ€™


โ€˜โ€™Iโ€™m kind of busy today ๐Ÿ˜”, are you able to help with the presentation decks?โ€™โ€™


If you are reading this, you are probably one of the people who live and breathe the Emoji language, or you might be someone who has chanced upon a colleague sending them messages filled with these harmless ideogrammatic icons. Basking ourselves in the world of Emojis, you must be wondering how Emojis became a form of expression in corporate settings and why it has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other online? 


The word Emoji is derived from Japanese words- โ€˜Eโ€™ stands image, โ€˜Moโ€™ stands for writing and โ€˜Jiโ€™ stands for letter or character. The term Emoji came about in 1997 on Japanese mobile phones and since then, they have become increasingly popular worldwide after it was added in other mobile operating systems such as Apple and Android. 


Emojis have become a cultural phenomenon โ€“ it has shaped the way we express our ideas and emotions across languages, colleagues, friends, and family. Young or old, you would have been bound to use emojis in casual conversations and in corporate settings. People who have used emojis in conversations feel that it helps them to overcome language barriers, appear more approachable as well as their thoughts and ideas according to a report done by Adobe


Nonetheless, emojis helps to make tone and intent obvious in interactions help to minimize any potential misunderstandings and helps to create a layer of the human touch that we might have lost through physical interactions. Emojis too acts as a display of honesty as they give others the impression that you are honest and approachable according to a study done by New Media. For instance, you are in a situation whereby you need help with some of the work and your colleagueโ€™s response is โ€˜โ€™Sure, Iโ€™ll help you with this.โ€™โ€™ The tone might sound like that they are annoyed and unapproachable. So instead, your colleague replies to you with: โ€˜โ€™ Sure, Iโ€™ll help you with this ๐Ÿ˜€โ€™โ€™, it sounds sincere and makes you feel better.


With most of us are working remotely and we donโ€™t often meet our colleagues in person, we found ourselves often using emojis in online business conversations and virtual meetings where there is a lack of nonverbal cues such as body language and facial expression where we often only have access to when communicating with one another face to face. Emojis can be used to convey emotion, emphasis, and tone nuance, which results in forming a stronger connection with one another. It helps to defuse any stressful situations and show empathy when one of your colleagues needs it. 


Emojis in Virtual Communication Platforms


Source: The Verge (Zoom Update Delivers more Emoji Reactions and new Annotation Features)


With the recent proliferation of Emojis usage in corporate settings, many virtual and video conferencing applications have adopted and added Emoji in one of their features. Not only do users get to use Emojis in virtual chats, but they can use them in virtual video conferencing meetings too. For instance, Zoom, a video-conferencing application that has skyrocketed during the pandemic, now allows users to react to conversations, ideas or even discussions in their virtual video conferencing meetings by clicking the โ€˜Reactionsโ€™ button found at the bottom. These emojis will be displayed on the participantโ€™s video and in the participant’s list for 10 seconds. Meeting participants can choose a wide range of Emojis however, the host of the meeting can restrict emoji reactions up to six, and for those larger accounts, the full emoji set can be manually added by admins or account owners. Not forgetting the raise hand feature that Zoom has, it allows meeting participants to voice out their opinion, without interrupting the speaker. 


All in all, we canโ€™t deny that Emojis do help to supplement the lack of nonverbal cues and keeps virtual chats and meetings lively. However, one must still be careful with the Emoji they used as not all emojis are appropriate in corporate settings and are not used to replace words but only to enhance them. While there are many Emojis to choose from, nobody wants to spend the time to decipher the meaning of the Emoji reaction in meetings or chats during a hectic workday. At the end of the day, we must remember to use the right Emoji in corporate settings because if used unwisely, they can cause confusion to others and might tarnish oneโ€™s reputation. 


For more information about Zoom features and would like to purchase Zoom licenses for your business needs, do contact [email protected]


Article Written by Trish, Senior Marketing Executive, ESCO