A new study reveals that using smileys in work emails sends a poor message about you to your colleagues.
According to a study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the graphical attempts to keep things light can backfire. "Smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence," noted Ella Glikson, a post-doctorate fellow at the university.
"In formal business e-mails, a smiley is not a smile."
"The study also found that when the participants were asked to respond to e-mails on formal matters, their answers were more detailed and they included more content-related information when the e-mail did not include a smiley," said Glikson.
"We found that the perceptions of low competence if a smiley is included in turn undermined information sharing."
The researchers' findings were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.