Instant team chat apps like Slack have definitely made remote working a lot more easier and interesting. While these apps provide a platform to collaborate, catch up with your team on a day to day basis, they are often not used to their full potential when it comes to exploring their features. Case in point being, emojis and reacjis. Tell us, when was the last time you used an emoji on Slack without the fear of sounding too unprofessional? Or when was the last time you used their Slack emojis for work instead of just watercooler chats in a channel?

In this article, we’re sharing everything you need to know about Slack emojis. What Slackmojis are, how to create Slack custom emojis, the little dos and don’ts of using them with your team and how to actually put these happy looking characters to do some actual work.


What is Slack emoji?

Emojis, in general, are a spin on common, everyday emotions. These are a way of expressing emotions on a written chat. Think of sending a text message with 🙂 back in the old days to add a little personality to what you were trying to say. Slack emojis are similar to what we use daily on chat apps like text, WhatsApp, Messenger and others – just with a little difference.

Slack emojis come with an added element of practicality. These emojis not only make your conversations on a team chat healthier, but also enhance your message formatting, add a way to react or show any emotion towards something that is being discussed, and can also serve as a comment on the channel’s messages. It’s like showing how you feel without having to write it all.

Slack emojis are also known as Slackmojis and in some cases referred to ask Slack gifs.

These little characters have found a commonplace in team chats like Slack.

Be it to welcome someone, celebrate something or simply break the ice between teammates, you’ll find Slackmojis doing their bit a lot more frequently than before. All without losing track of the business purpose and relationships that are being discussed on the platform.

Take this conversation as an example. A teammate joins in and the other members say hi or their appreciation using Slack emojis.

welcome slack emojis


TLDR; Slackmojis make Slack fun and that’s why we love them!

Why use a Slackmoji? 😎

One may often not attach importance to using a slackmoji or slack emojis in team conversations. However, they do play a significant part in how we collaborate or communicate with one another.  Slackmojis make a conversation brighter and easy to flow, without breaking its professional authenticity. Take a look at the above example again!

But other than that, using Slack gifs and Slack emojis or reacjis can help you do away with the need for typing an entire reply. A person can simply express what they want to say via a slack emoji and that would suffice.

For example, someone shares the good news about the company being featured in an article. Instead of everyone typing in a ‘yay’ to show how happy they are, they can simply use the ‘thumbs up’ emoji or a celebratory reacji on the message.

But more than just making it easier to communicate emotions on the team chat, Slack emojis also have a greater part to play in setting a positive work environment. Here’s how:

1. Reinforces a team culture of openness 🤩

With blurring boundaries between work and life, the workplace is no longer all about work. It’s a place where employees spend most of their time in a day – be it working or communicating with their colleagues. The use of Slack emojis show how open you are to having a conversation together and how you want your employees to express their emotions. This reinforces a positive team culture without having to list down a whole document of your vision, mission and values.

2. Perks up the work environment 👩‍💻

Work environment cannot always be serious and dreary. Just like it takes one smile to break the ice between two strangers, it takes one slackmoji to take the conversation towards a slightly lighter tone. This enforces an overall positive work environment. But more importantly, it turns a dull moment into a bright one, instantly perking up the emotion around it. Sometimes, even when it is bad news that you’re sharing on the team chat.

3. Brings about teammates’ personality 🙍

Every teammate’s personality is unique and different. They don’t just bring a unique skillset to the team, but also a personality that some could learn from. The slackmoji usage of a person reflects how they feel most of the day, how they tend to react to things and has a lot to say about their personality if you look closely.

For instance, some might use a smug laugh emoji on most things shared on the team channel. While others may use the dancing emoji more frequently. You can clearly figure out how the first person here is a little shy and not sure if they should show their emotions as much. But the second one is not afraid to be the life of the party!

4. Help in creating a workflow ↔️

You’re working remotely. You’re mostly independently in charge of the tasks assigned to you and responsible for their completion. But keeping your teammates in the loop can be very important as you work as a distributed team. While overcommunication kills workflows or disrupts the zone in which a member could be working in a focused way, Slackmojis can simplify it all.

For example, you can ask your team to share their daily sprints or set of tasks on a common channel. They can then use Slack emojis to share the status of the tasks, updating this message as they complete something.

In this case, the tick mark is to show a completed task. The sun emoji shows the task that is in process and the regular bullet point left in the task is something that the person has not yet started with.

slack emojis daily scrum


You can create your own conventions for using Slack emojis for your team. Just make sure you communicate their usage clearly.

So if you notice, now no one needs to chase this teammate to know what task is completed or what the status of something looks like. This is especially important if another team mate’s or department’s tasks are dependent on each other.

Now if you’re wondering about how many people really use emojis? Check out the growth in the number of emojis over the years!

history of slack emojis



What are the different ways of using Slack Emojis at work? 😁

Slackmoji, slack gifs, slack emojis or reacjis – call them whatever, can be used in various ways at work. Being thorough Slackmoji evangelists, let us share some of the ways we advocate using Slack emojis for.

1. Replacing messages with emojis to express emotions

Writing messages where a simple smile would suffice is useless. Similarly, reactions are also better when expressed with expressions. Slack emoji makes it easy for people to react to conversations without having to explain themselves. Imagine having to explain you’re happy in text vs showing it with an emoji, and tell us which is easier? Obviously, using an emoji.

2. Finding common reacji to react to conversations and discussions

Sometimes, certain emojis can be used frequently by your team to denote a common emotion or reaction to ongoing conversations. With time, you can turn it into an internal trend. You can find such common reacjis within the group and those can be your own reactions.

For instance, using the upward arrow to upvote something, a red cross emoji to show disagreement or the eyes emoji to convey that you have read the message.

This is important you frequently have brainstorming sessions on your team chat, conduct polls or have in-depth discussions. But if you’re looking at finding common reacjis, make sure you document the process.

3. Search slack emoji

Slack emoji can be associated with teams and individual messages. For instance, if there is a certain idea of interest, custom emoji can be added to it. Thereafter, anyone can find that message by conducting a search, using that emoji.

For example, if you’re brainstorming on something and happen to come up with an idea that you don’t currently have the bandwidth for. Use a bulb emoji in this message to mark it as an idea. Whenever your team frees up resources, you can go back to this idea with a simple emoji search.

search slack emojis


4. Using slack emoji as indicators

Slack emoji can also be given certain traits, and used as indicators of a common emotion across the organization or a particular team or channel. For instance, different shades of full circles can be decided  on to denote the urgency of the problem/ the priority of the tasks shared. Similarly, you can use Slack emojis to indicate feedback on tasks too!

5. Setting your work status

Another frequent use of emojis in our team channel to set our status at work. This is important so that you can convey to your team that you’re around, but away for lunch, working in focus-mode or in a meeting. These status Slack emojis can let your team know when to message you, when to expect a reply (or not), or when you need to be left alone so that you can focus on the task at hand.

Using Slack emojis in your status is so much better than having to convey the message to everyone on a channel and then explain why.

work status slack emoji


You can either create a common set of Slack emojis to use as statuses, or let your teammates decide what they want to use. Just make sure you’ve asked them to define it too.

6. Slack emoji in channel name

You can also use emojis in Slack channel names to define what they’re all about. For example, if you have a channel for marketing, you can use the speaker emoji in front of the channel name. Similarly, if you have a separate channel for developers, you can use a spanner emoji.

Also read: 10 ways to make your Slack channels more effective

What Slack emojis should your organization have? 🤔

Slackmojis are a perfect way to express every emotion at work. But with so many emojis to use, sometimes they can be a little too much too! So if you want to put a little cap on the Slack emojis being used in your team chat, consider having just a few must-haves and convey the same to your team.

Here are a few of the best slack emojis that every organization should have:

(To find these Slack emojis, simply copy the following names and search here.)

1. Celebration Slackmojis

Dance and celebrate when the need be, whether it’s an accomplishment or an achievement. Nothing denotes it better than a celebratory slack emoji. There are many celebratory dancing slackmojis, such as :leftshark:, :hammertime:, :ander_dance:, :hamster_dance:, and more.

Here’s :leftshark: for you:

left shark slackmojis


Celebratory drinking slack emojis are also popular. :Crying_jordan:, :bruh:, are a few examples of the same.

2. Status Slack emojis

Status slack emoji is also a very important one to have. It reflects the status of the employee, a particular channel, a team, or even an organization as a whole. These denote the requirement of whether having to put written requests in the form of emails or messages, thus saving on time. Just put up a slack emoji status.

Some most common ones are :nocox: for an internet that is not working, :cox: for when the internet is back, :wfh:, :no_coffee:, and more. These are useful and time-saving options.

Here are some :wfh: Slack emojis:

work from home slack emojis


3. Reaction emojis or reacjis

Reaction slack emoji or reacji is another time-saving option that comprises certain basic reactions that a team member may have on a conversation. Again, the presence of these does away the usual requirement of typing in the reactions, instead of actually reacting via expressions.

Frequently used Slack emojis to show a reaction or a reacji helps in expressing oneself quickly and more accurately. Some of the most common reacjis we have seen across teams are :excellent:, :it’s_a_trap:, :ballmer:, and more. Learn more about reacjis in this article.

4. Team picture emojis

This is a form of encouragement and morale booster. Get Slack emojis made out of your employees’ or team members’ headshots, based on their display pictures on the team chat. Thereafter, you can get Slack custom emoji made out of it and use it to appreciate their accomplishments or when you have to direct a reacji to them.

For fun, you can also use team picture emojis when you want to show a reaction like that of a colleague’s!

5. What you’re eating emojis

At work, you’d share a common table at lunch time and share what you brought to eat. But when you’re working from home, lunch times can be really boring. Eating Slack emojis make for a virtual replacement of your lunch time together. While they can be used as an indication for stepping away for breakfast/ lunch/dinner/ snacks, they’re also a great way to share what you’re eating with the team!

Some of the most common eating slack emojis are, :drool:, :pizza:, :blooming_onion:, and more.

lunch slack emojis


6. Partying

Party parrot is the most common slack emoji for indicating party times! There are many, such as :partyparrot:, :partyparrotshuffle:, :troll_parrot:, and more. Take your pick and get rolling every time you want to have a virtual party or want to celebrate something together.

Apart from the aforesaid, you can also use combo slack emojis. These may not add much towards productivity or be of use, but add the much-needed quirk and fun factor to the overall conversation. And what’s an organization without a bit of fun? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, after all.

How to add a custom slack emoji for your slack team?

Now Slack comes with a basic set of emojis, pretty much similar to the ones available on your phones. But it does give you the ability to create custom Slack emojis. Here’s how you add custom emoji to Slack:

  1. Save the image that you wish to use in creating a custom slack emoji
  2. Login to the slack app and click on the smiley face icon which is there in the message field. This will open a menu
  3. Click on add emoji
  4. Upload the image after selecting the previously saved file
  5. Name it and save it

If you want to pin the steps, here’s a snapshot from the guide created by Slack:

slack steps to create custom slackmojis


PS. The ideal Slack emoji size is 128 pixels by 128 pixels.

You can also remove a custom slack emoji. This can happen in case the custom slack emoji has been created for some specific event or if the employee for whom it was created has left the organization. Again, there are a few, easy steps to follow here:

  1. Login to your slack app
  2. Click on your workspace name
  3. Go to settings and administration
  4. Click on customize [workspace name]
  5. Click on emoji tab
  6. Search for the specific emoji that you wish to edit or remove
  7. Delete the emoji and confirm

Alternatively, you can also simply choose to add Slack emoji packs to your team. Read the complete guide by Slack on how to find and add emoji packs here.

You can also find some interesting free Slack emojis here.

What are the etiquettes for using slack emoji?

There are certain points to be kept in mind while using a Slackmojis or Slack emojis. Like any other communication feature, it’s better when used and sinister when abused. There are a few guidelines that one can be cognizant of while using Slack emoji. Here are some of the lessons we learned the hard way:

1. Do not overuse

Focus on the relevance of emojis in a conversation. Do not use Slack emojis unnecessarily and for everything. For instance, if there is a serious conversation going on in a channel, you may want to refrain from using too many emojis to react to the message. If you really have to, use one which is the most appropriate and wouldn’t have the sender of the message wondering what’s wrong with you!

2. Understand the use of Slack custom emoji

Slack custom emojis are useful, if used in the correct manner. So if your team chat has a bunch of custom Slack emojis added, make sure you ask your HR if there’s documentation on how to use them. If you’re not sure what an emoji stands for, ask a colleague. But understand the meaning behind an emoji before you put it to use to avoid miscommunication.

3. Keep the sentiment in mind

Do not use Slack emoji as a replacement for a message, when the latter is clearly required. Consider this example: you cannot express condolences via emojis, even if there are sad expressions available. No matter the variance, Slack emoji or emoji in general, is required to denote and express emotions and react. When you are supposed to converse, use messages.

4. Know your channels

Likewise, know your channels while using the emojis. Not every channel is the appropriate platform for using Slack emojis. For instance, a shared channel with a client will not be the right place to use an internal Slack emoji. You get the drift!

Do you require Slack emojis?

If you ask us, YES.

Slack emojis are a great way for your team to express what they’re thinking, how they feel or react to conversations in team chat. It’s pretty similar to the expressions you’d get to see while discussing ideas in a meeting room.

So don’t be afraid to let your team use Slackmojis and reacjis in their day-to-day conversations. It’s how they’ll bond and work better together.

Which are the Slack emojis that you use the most? Share a screenshot of your recent chat on Slack (ofcourse, not your plans to take on the world) with us on Twitter by tagging us at @HarmonizeHQ. We’d love to see how different teams use Slack emojis!

Looking for apps to put Slack at work? Check out this list of the best Slack apps