Should We Be Too Casual with our WhatsApp Messages?

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iOS Emoji - digital smileys for expressions

How casual is too casual especially in a work environment?

WhatsApp has fast become an important texting application in our daily lives that connects us to people whether with our immediate family, colleagues at work, friends and even clients. It is such a household name that we went casual immediately in the texting application as it is an extremely convenient and simple application to get in touch but also used as a tool to communicate in the working world to get jobs done.

However, the way we understand text would probably differ with others. What we thought is a light and prompt reply, might probably mean that we lack the initiative to some. Therefore, the firing of a Chinese woman because of her emoji/emoticon reply to her superior just couple of months back may seem bizarre to some. Reaction to the incident were mixed, some thought it was too uptight of the superior while there are people who are concerned of people taking work ethics too lightly.

So where do we draw the line on being too casual and too uptight? How do we stay in the neutral line when it comes to communicating within the professional environment inside the texting application?

3 foolproof ways to avoid this sort of mishap to happen:

Leave sarcasm at bay

Sure it’s fun and you are of a quirky personality but let’s keep it off a work situation. People either understand or misunderstand what you are trying to say so best to keep it away.

Read the text again before sending 

Reread your message before clicking the send button in case it sounds offensive to the recipient. Different people have different perception. Tailor our way of texting with this thought in mind to avoid any misunderstandings.

Always be respectful and polite

The rule of thumb is to remember that the recipient of our text is a human being and they ought to be treated with respect. Keeping this in mind would always save us from any unwanted conflict that might take place as a result. Simple basic terms such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ go a long way.

Other than these three, other acceptable general rules such as do not use all-caps while texting as it may convey you’re angry, and be wary of using inappropriate word or languages and even confusing emoticons that may be perceived negatively.

What is your say on this issue? Would you prefer texting in leisure as long as the job is done or keep it ethical when it comes to work communication?