5 emoji mistakes to avoid in the workplace

Emoticons at the office are not all harmless fun. Avoid these pitfalls to prevent mixed messages—or something much more damaging.

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Whichever language you speak, it’s wise to become fluent in emoji, too.

Whether you’re a full-blown text aficionado or flip-phone holdout, emoji are now part of life—even at work. Unfortunately, it’s not all smileys, cupcakes and rainbows.

As millennials take over the workforce, emoji use in workplace communications will probably continue unabated. As CBS reports: “Almost nine out of 10 millennials use emoji at work with co-workers whom they consider friends.”

Most of these symbols are innocent and fun, but what if they are used to harass, manipulate or convey an illegal motive? With nearly 3,000 emoji to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to potentially send the wrong racial, gender and cultural message.

Just like words, emoji have the potential to engender lawsuits and cost businesses dearly. Consider these five ways emoji could create liability in the workplace:

Pitfall 1: It was just a joke! I didn’t mean it!

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