If you’re sending your boss a message about a project that’s going well, and you find yourself with an urge to include a thumbs up emoji, go for it.
Gone are the days when emoji were only to be used for light-hearted communication between instant-messaging youth. Research reveals that these modern-day hieroglyphics are fast becoming a staple of business communications; enhancing employee engagement, speeding interactions, and reducing conflict.
According to a new survey, Americans are sending an average of 34.71 emoji a day across social media, messaging, and emails. Men are more likely to be adding an icon, sending three more a day compared to women (35.9 a day, vs. 32.8). Gen Zs (16-24-year-olds) are the biggest emoji-lovers, sending over five times more per day than Americans aged 55 and over.
The research was commissioned by Customer Thermometer to get insight into how emoji iconography is changing the state of business communications.
The survey found that Americans are embracing the ability to add images and feelings to their written communications at work, as well as in their personal life. More than one in five (22.5%) Americans reveal they regularly add emoji to their business emails. Women especially appreciate receiving an emoji in a work email, as they deem them friendlier (87.7% vs. 73% of men). The other biggest drivers for using emoji in the business environment is that over half of Americans (55%) believe they have helped avoid conflict or misunderstandings because they help convey a “tone.” For more than a third (35%), the biggest benefit is that they find it much quicker to reply with an emoticon, especially when they are on the move. (Check out the infographic below for more survey results.)
“Far from being a formality-fail, emoji represent the biggest advancement in the human language since the written word,” said Lindsay Willott, CEO, Customer Thermometer. “They are enriching communications by adding imagery, tone, and feeling. It’s time we embrace how workers want to communicate, across email and collaboration tools like Slack and Teams, and also consider that the brevity and humanity benefits of emoji usage can also be extended into customer engagement as well.”