When you’re sending an email to a colleague or a client, you might like to keep the tone light to build a friendly relationship.
However, a new study suggests you should be careful how casual you make your emails. Researchers from BGU, University of Haifa, and Amsterdam University found that including emojis in work emails may make your colleagues think you are less competent, which can make them less likely to share information with you.
The researchers carried out a series of experiments with 549 participants from 29 different countries.
In one experiment participants were asked to read a work-related e-mail from a stranger and evaluate both the competence and warmth of that person.
The participants all received similar messages, but only some included smiley emojis.
“Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,”said Dr. Ella Glikson, a post-doctorate fellow at BGU’s Department of Management. “In formal business e-mails, a smiley is not a smile.”