At my workplace, we use Slack (an instant messaging platform) to communicate. That really means we use emoji to communicate. Email is still kept more formal, but instant messages are for communicating casual, quick thoughts without much effort.
Emoji can be more expressive than typical short responses like, “Okay,” “Thanks,” or “I’m in.” And as such, they make the typically mundane messaging during work a bit more fun.
But still, as serious people, we’re interested in conducting our work in a professional and efficient way. So here are my top five emoji for business.
#5. 👍 Thumbs Up
The 👍 is a classic affirmation. Did you understand that thing you were just told? 👍 How did that uneventful meeting go? 👍 Are we all out of hand sanitizer? 👍
Clear and unambiguous, the thumbs-up is great at saying, “Yep, fine, no problem. There’s nothing else to add.”
#4. 🎉 Party Popper
A wide range of celebration happens in a workday. From birthdays to work anniversaries to finding out a dog is coming to the office, there’s plenty to be happy about. Fun and colorful, 🎉 reminds one of a party, but scaled down to an appropriate level for throwaway office communication.
#3. 🏃 Running Person
It has more of a specific use than most emoji on this list, but 🏃 it’s useful nonetheless. It’s great for explaining that you’re making a great effort to get to the meeting you forgot about. 🏃 says “I’m running right over!” when in reality, you haven’t even paused your podcast yet. But as the action suggests, it’s quicker than typing out an explanation about how you’re on your way to a meeting.
#2. 🤷 Shrugging Person
Sometimes you just don’t know the answer! I find myself not knowing answers all the time, so I get a lot of use out of 🤷. However, sometimes even knowing things doesn’t prevent unintended consequences. Brushing them off with a 🤷 (as if to say “Oh well!”) can save time when you’re brushing things off more than usual.
#1. 🤝 Handshake
This my undisputed #1 of business emoji. If a 👍 says “Yep,” then a 🤝 says, “Yes! Absolutely we agree with each other one hundred percent on this.” I like to end any conversation with this emphatic agreement.
Even more useful is using 🤝 to agree with yourself and end a conversation. It feels like offering a handshake that gets automatically accepted by the other party — tricky, maybe, but I think if it works.
This utility and its reminder of an in-person, firm handshake of agreement (a common business move) make it my top emoji for business, something I’m sure we can all agree on 🤝. COVID-19 bonus: this works just as well as a real handshake, but maintains social distancing!
Everybody communicates differently. Which emoji do you often use for work chats?