Why Norfolk bosses say you should not be putting a kiss on your work emails

You could be kissing goodbye to your career by putting an ‘X’ at the end of a text or email and as for emojis, particularly the winky face, it could spell a work disaster, according to Norfolk’s bosses.

With more of us doing business using texts, LinkedIn messages, Instagram and Facebook it seems you've got to become adept at the 'secret language' which can add a different meaning to what you intended.

Although using an 'X' to symbolise a kiss is fine to friends and family, it's a no-no if communicating with a colleague.

The problem can be that adding kisses or an emoji can signal you're making a play for someone, according to business experts, leaving you red-faced if that's not the case - and possibly causing embarrassment or awkwardness for the recipient either way.

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Kate Wilde, managing director of Engage with Business, based in Marsham, who is a life and business coach, said: "Definitely avoid winky emojis to the opposite sex as these can be misconstrued.

"If you receive a kiss or several kisses, don't be tempted to respond in the same way - if there was any meaning behind it, let it be lost in translation.

"Using kisses shows a lack of professionalism. Unless you need to grab someone's attention, say if you were going to be late for a meeting, I wouldn't advise texting in a business capacity, I would always use email.

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"I certainly would never use kisses or emojis on LinkedIn, I would only use kisses on texts to girlfriends and family. Emojis used to irritate me but I am beginning to see they have a purpose - a smiley emoji can show you have humour.

"Younger people tend to be more relaxed but if they're coming into the workplace need to realise the informality of messaing may not be appropriate."

Sarah West, managing director of Full Mix Marketing, in Norwich, which advises clients on using social media, said: "There is a secret language. If you receive a text with a kiss or kisses from a someone in business it can make you feel uncomfortable and alarm bells start ringing."

Ben Hopkins, managing director of Redwell Brewing in Norwich, said: "Within my business I occasionally use a smiley face emoji. We're a small team and I think it's good to be relaxed among peers. I don't personally use 'X' though I do sometimes abbreviate thanks to 'thx'."

Top tips:

- Avoid texting in a professional capacity - stick to email

-Outlaw the emoji; despite useful when commenting or sharing an opinion never use a 'winky face' which could be misconstrued

- Keep an 'X' among family and friends only

- Don't be tempted to respond with a 'X' just because you've received one - set your own standards

- Don't ever resend a kiss on its own as this emphasises the gesture even more