Slack Emojis Carry Dopamine

Andrew Soria
4 min readMar 29, 2020


On March 4th, Slack released an article detailing how teams can practically shift their communication strategies from the office, to completely online.

The article was a byproduct of the whole country shutting down most offices due to COVID-19 — forcing CEO’s and management to adjust company workflows and Q1 objectives.

Thanks to Slack, team’s can still communicate effectively and seamlessly across channels.

Still, something’s missing. Is it the 9am coffee you’re so used to brewing?Those hour-long keynote presentations you thought you hated, but you’ve grown to appreciate since it’s no longer there?

Well, it could be.

I believe it’s the loss of human connection. Wow, do I actually miss my co-workers? Is this what being an “adult,” feels like?

Who knew it would take a pandemic to make us all appreciate the slightly dry “good morning, how are you?” questions, or the in-person meetings that would always cut you off when you’ve just hit peak creativity.

Two weeks into self-isolation and a few Slack messages later, I found a new way for companies to engage with each other in both a professional and personal manner — all while honing in on that human connection.

Introducing, Slack emojis.

The psychology around Slack emojis (backed by 5-minute research)

If there’s one lesson I hope we all learn from being stuck at home… enjoy the little things. Life moves pretty fast when you go from commuting to work one morning, then finding yourself in pajamas heading into your next zoom meeting the next day.

With work-life shifting completely online, my routine was completely broken and my snack bar was calling my name. On top of that, my slack messages increased while my enthusiasm to push through what felt like double the amount of work hours, seemingly decreased.

Until these guys popped up on my screen:

Found in the Voy Media Slack Channel

I think slack emojis have the same effect as likes and comments do on Instagram influencers; short bursts of excitement followed by the desire to do(post) more.

It goes down in the channels

Since going remote, I’ve noticed an increase of emoji usage across all our slack channels. It’s like the digital way to show enthusiasm and tease your workers.

Maybe I’m not the only one itching to go back into the office to get stuff done?

Totally unorthodox and backed by minimal scientific research, here are the top 5 emojis our team is using to increase digital communication, joke sparingly, and celebrate enthusiastically:

🧐 Should I?

This emoji pops-up when someone in the team proposes an idea with no real evidence of it being an either good or bad idea. In our company, this message usually follows up with someone saying, “try it and see what happens.”

🔥 Not a false alarm

This emoji can be used in several different ways. Every now and then, someone will drop into the channel with cold hard facts, something worth celebrating, or the best of all, a client purchase. Other emojis that may be confused with this meaning include: 🤯 or 🤩

📌 Bullet Points

This may be the most underrated emoji ever. In fact, I may be the pioneer of this coveted red pin. With this emoji, you can use it as bullet points or to highlight a headline.

Use wisely.

🔫 Splash Zone

Anytime you want to respond, “ugh fine” or “really?” to any of your co-workers, use this guy. Don’t worry, it’s only a little sarcastic and it only contains water.


A Voy Media trademark, we use this emoji when an uptrend is happening.

Running Emoji Polls on Slack

Company hack. If you ever need a quick company survey, pair emojis with the answers you’re looking for. For example, a last-minute meeting:

Hey everyone, something just popped up with one of our clients. Please let me know which times are best for all of you today for a quick zoom call:

🟪 1PM-2PM 🟦4PM-5PM 🟩Not Available for today

In this self-isolation world we’re currently living in, your company has to at least use 10 emojis per day. If you’re not seeing that, something is completely wrong and your employees are probably binging season 2 of their favorite Netflix episode.

I’m kidding. It’s not that much of a tragedy. But with everything going on around us, it’s nice to appreciate the little things. Emojis may or may not have a direct correlation to your in-home employee productivity.

It’s up to you to test this theory.



Andrew Soria

Unattached | Let’s dive deeper @ andrew.print