A new study suggests that including emoji in your work emails may be making you look incompetent.
11 Sep, 2017MASHABLE.COM
Emoji have invaded our texts, Slacks, and even our business emails. But, a new study suggests that including emoji in your work emails may be making you look incompetent. Not ideal, TBH.
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that professional emails which feature "smiley" emoji actually "decrease perceptions of competence" and don't convey genuine "warmth."
"Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence," says Dr Ella Glikson from Ben-Gurion University. She says that in formal business emails, "a smiley is not a smile."
In the study, 549 participants from 29 different countries were asked to read a work-related email from an unknown sender. They then had to evaluate the "competence and warmth" of that person.
The results suggest that including a 😊 emoji had a "negative effect on the perception of competence." Oops. The study also revealed that email responses were "more detailed" and included more "content-related information" when smiley emoji were omitted.
According to the findings, smiley emoji are not perceived as the digital equivalent of smiling at someone, and aren't construed as a way of communicating "warmth."
"People tend to assume that a smiley is a virtual smile, but the findings of this study show that in the case of the workplace, at least as far as initial 'encounters' are concerned, this is incorrect," Glikson says.
A smiley can only replace a smile when you already know the other person, according to Glikson. And, she says that it's "better to avoid" using smiley emoji for now.
Think twice next you fancy including a casual 😊 in your very important business email.