The Power of Emojis in Professional Communication

VIDEO: Author Erica Dhawan on the benefits of emojis in work emails and IMs.

Not only is it acceptable to use emojis in your business communications, it’s encouraged, according to Erica Dhawan, author of Digital Body Language.

In most digital communications, you lose the body language cues you get in person. But emojis can make up for that—whether it’s a smiley face to show enthusiasm or a grimace to express frustration.

“Emojis are the new measures of our expressions in the world of digital communication,” Dhawan says. “Because we can’t show our smile face-to-face when we’re sending an email, we can use the power of emojis to infuse tone and energy into our communications.”

They’re not always recommended, though, she adds: Avoid using emojis when you’re communicating with someone you don’t know or who is more formal.

Watch the video to learn more about the power of emojis in digital communication.



  • [Presenter] Non-verbal cues are entirely absent in emails and IMs. But there’s a trick to getting emotion across.
  • [Erica Dhawan] When we use a smile emoji, we are trying to infuse positive energy or happy energy into a communication. When we’re a bit confused, we may use a different emoji to show that we are lost or need more information.
  • [Erica Dhawan] I truly believe that emojis are not trivial today. They can bring a sense of clarity, understanding and engagement to our workplaces.
  • [Presenter] Of course, you should keep your audience in mind.
  • [Erica Dhawan] If you are communicating with someone you’ve never communicated with before, or you don’t have a sense of the audience, or perhaps this is a situation where you know that individual has a more formal digital body language style, it’s best to err on the side of not using emojis.
  • [Erica Dhawan] Emojis are a great way to replace what is lost from our facial expressions in digital communication.
  • [Presenter] For more ways to get inspired, visit