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Non-verbal communication in Google Workspace

Non-verbal communication isn’t particularly new or innovative. For thousands of years, people have been communicating with facial expressions and hand-gestures both in and out of the workplace. Perhaps new though in the last decade or so (and most certainly with new technologies), an advancement in civilisation in terms of the acceptance of emoji and the evolution of the modern workplace, emojis have become commonplace - no longer just for reacting to your friends stories on social media, they’re a very quick way of providing information or reactions to those you work closely with. In this video, Noelle covers the widespread emergence of emojis in the work environment and how you can utilise these within Google Workspace effectively.


Should I be using non-verbal communication?

Social media has had a significant influence over us all and changed society, emojis have become commonplace in our everyday lives, with 78% of Gen Z and Millennials using emojis at work. In the same study, 79% agree that using emojis help to communicate ideas quickly, 62% agree that using an emoji can make team decision making more efficient and 47% agree that using emojis reduces the need for a meeting or a call. The video also delves into generational usage of emoji in the workplace.

So how do I use Non-verbal communication in Workspace?

Within Google docs, the ability to “react” with an emoji is already a feature that’s been implemented. By highlighting text within the document (if you have editing access) you will see 3 icons appear on the right hand side of the highlighted text. You will then see the smiling emoji. Clicking on that option will then open up the list of emojis with a search bar so you can search for the correct emoji for the situation.

These will appear within the comments section where the editor of the document will be able to view, edit and approve the comments as usual within Google Docs. Only editors/commenters are able to see the emoji used within the document, as those with view only access will only see the document itself and not the comments made by others.

Using Emoji to react in Google Meet

When participants are being presented to in Google Meet, the option to react while the presenter is speaking is at the bottom, allowing users to react while the presenter has their presentation tab/window or screen open. These are displayed over the presentation screen with a name attached to it, showing who’s reacted and what the reaction was. A very handy tool for live feedback. If you use another emoji it will overwrite the previous one if done in quick succession and there are additional customisation options available such as a skin tone menu.    

How to declutter your inbox by using congratulatory emojis in chat

You’ve probably seen the long email chains associated with promotions, great client feedback and the like - as good as these are to receive, the associated inbox spam is a little much for some. Using emojis to react without rolling out the usual “well done” line in an email is a fantastic way of preventing inbox spam while still passing on well wishes and congratulations to those who deserve it. “Reply all” can be streamlined within a chat channel as the message can be relayed to the relevant teams, the excitement and congratulations is still conveyed to those involved, but the need to type out original emails and replying to all is gone. To do this, the reaction button appears below all text in Google Chat, meaning you can select the relevant emoji, provide feedback and not have to type anything at all!

Creating your own language with emoji

Part of the fun collaborating within a team and using emojis can be how you use them in your day to day operation. Just putting the odd smiley face if someone has sent you something for feedback won’t always convey the correct message and negates the use of non-verbal communication altogether as it doesn’t make much sense. If someone has said “I’ve put a document in the marketing folder, can you check it before it goes out please” and the reactions are smiley faces and explosions - it doesn’t tell the person who left the message that you’re working on it. The thumbs up emoji here would be ideal to show you’ve seen the message and you will action what they’ve asked. A further reaction, using the eyes emoji (if previously communicated that’s what it means) could mean that you’re looking into something. We’ve put together a potential list and you can see these in the video, but it’s fun to experiment and work out what could be best for you and your team. 

Can I create my own custom emojis in Workspace?

The answer to this is a resounding yes! These can be brilliant for that personal touch in your workplace, replacing the usual smiley faces with whatever you choose (here at Damson, we have custom emojis utilising our logo to great effect). To do this, when reacting you will see the create button next to the search bar. You can then upload your image, however it must be at least 64x64 pixels and under 256 KB in size. These can be .jpg, .png or even gifs. Once uploaded you’ll need to name the emoji - the standard prefixes apply here as with most applications so you’ll need to use the format :namemyemoji: to proceed. This needs to be all in lowercase letters and no spaces used. Hyphens can be used in place of a space. Once saved, close the emoji menu and reopen it to see your new emoji, ready for use in the recently used section, or you can search for it. They don’t need to be used purely for reactions, you can also use them as a larger size within the text box as a message.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this Tech Tip Thursday update looking at non-verbal communication/using emojis in Google Workspace. It can be fun to play around with and could save you considerable time and effort, helping you and your team become more productive.

As always, we want to hear from you. Is Google Workspace something your business needs to know more about?  Let us know in the comments on our YouTube channel or contact us for more information hereAs a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner Program, Damson Cloud specialises in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion the very best practices in remote working and change management, helping companies and their teams collaborate productively from anywhere in the world. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.

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The team at Damson Cloud have the expertise to support your business and help you achieve success, regardless of whether you’re new to Google Workspace or looking to enhance your existing usage.