Lazy or the new norm?

Words by Claudia Siron

Is it just me, or do words still convey emotion? Yes, it’s 2020 – a time when apps like TikTok tops 2 billion downloads (i.e. the Chinese government has been spying on 2 billion of us in lockdown while they eat popcorn in their pyjamas), and emojis have become increasingly popular to visually communicate thoughts in a text or email. Sure, they’re probably the best hangover tool (besides Powerade) for when you want to send a quick n’ lazy message after a big night out. But how do we feel about using them in professional sense?

With World Emoji Day having just passed on Friday, it got me thinking:

Pro: Emojis quickly (and lazily) add a tonne more personality to whatever it is you’re trying to say.

Con: Seeing a string of different emojis to represent the phrase “I look forward to doing business with you” can make you look mentally-challenged.

What the internet trolls have to say:

whatsgoingonh3r3 simply said “Words are hard” with their agreeable internet buddy replying ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Touché, boiz.

ScareTheRiven added to the thread: “Well, it shows that you didn’t take the time to type out full words and just used symbols. It says that you don’t care about the company, which is the kind of BS that any serious employer wants. It’s basically the same reason that you don’t go into a meeting wearing what you did last night.”

The debate turns heated when a defensive Nose–Grindstoned (who created the thread) replies: I think I meant that there could be a way to use emojis professionally, if they were considered allowable in the professional world. I don’t mean to use emojis instead of typing words.” 

ScareTheRiven jumps back in: “But that’s just the thing, that’s exactly what emojis are for. They’re meant to skip typing full words, which is seen as lazy.”

Nose–Grindstoned: I think I was thinking more about the expression emojis, used after a full sentence. Not the noun emojis.”

Wow, at this point we’re ALL confused.

ScareTheRiven: What’s wrong with an exclamation mark? Or a Question mark!” (I love how they ask a question without using a question mark when asking what’s wrong with using a question mark… but I digress.)

Overall, the internet trolls agreed it’s unprofessional to use emojis in office emails/texts. Other opinions ranged from:

“If it’s a positive email and you always have a good repore, a smiley face is acceptable. Anything else, no.”


“It honestly depends where you work, and your relationship with clients or customers. In the industry I work in, a smiley or a dad joke is about as far as anyone will go without worrying about looking unprofessional. I don’t see a smiley as odd, but if someone has a Myspace looking email signature I might think that’s worse.”


“BFF: Maybe. If it has absolutely nothing to do with work. Coworker, boss, customer, supplier, etc. NEVER!”

Our guide for professional emoji-ing:

If you’re tempted to bush the boundaries, here’s a little guide to emoji-ing in the professional world:

💗: “I can already tell how great it’s going to be working together!” (When you really mean, “I think we’ll be best friends.”)

😃: “That’s the best news I’ve heard all day.”

👼🏼: “You saved my ass and I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

😂: “Oh god, I completely understand where you’re coming from!”

🤔: “Hmm there must’ve been some sort of miscommunication.”

🙏🏼: “Thank you, I owe you one.”

🥳: “Amazing!” Also see: “Happy Friday!”

😭: “That’s the worst news I’ve heard all day.”

😮: “Oh, really? I had no idea you quit.” (Even though you definitely did.)