The ‘thumbs up’ emoji is the nation’s favourite way of conveying a ‘well done’ (51%), followed by the ‘OK’ emoji in second place (16%), ‘starry eyes’ (13%), ‘smiley face’ (11%) and ‘raised hands’ (10%).
That’s according to research by Perkbox, which polled 1,000 working Brits found to celebrate World Compliment Day, a global initiative to create the ‘Most Positive Day in the World’, and its inaugural #WorkplaceCultureWeek.
32% of employees say they still prefer to receive praise the ‘old school way’ through a written email. And of those who said they prefer an informal chat using emoji (49%), 27% believe it should only apply if the recipient is a millennial or younger, with one in five of the respondents saying this group believes emojis are more heartfelt.
When asked what emojis are inappropriate in an office setting, top of the pile was a “kissing mark”, chosen by 64% of respondents, two people kissing, which came second (53%) , followed by “heart eyes” (50%), the “asleep” emoji (38%) and “rolling eyes” (27%).
On the flip side, when it came to what emoji was the biggest compliment – in first place was the ‘party popper’ emoji, followed by ‘raised hands’, ‘bicep’, ‘thumbs up’, ‘clap’ and somewhat surprisingly the ‘star’ in final place.
In fact, 71% of respondents feel emojis should be encouraged in a workplace setting, which is one of the reasons why Perkbox has incorporated emojis into its Recognition platform, allowing employees to recognise each other using emojis such as balloons and party poppers.
Perkbox also partnered with SEMrush to investigate online trends regarding compliments further. ‘How to respond to a compliment’ is being searched online more frequently every year with a 22% yearly increase from 2018 50 2019. Another interesting trend in the findings is that there’s been a significant increase in searches around how to compliment a girl (22% yearly increase) vs. how to compliment a guy (also a 22% yearly increase).