Avatars to have business dress codes by 2013

Gartner has advised businesses to take more care with staff avatars.

Avatars

Employees will need to take more care with their avatars in the future, according to a new report.

Analyst firm Gartner has predicted that by the end of 2013, 70 per cent of enterprises will have issued guidelines to their staff about behaviour and dress code when it comes to using an avatar associated with the company.

"As the use of virtual environments for business purposes grows, enterprises need to understand how employees are using avatars in ways that might affect the enterprise or the enterprise's reputation," said James Lundy, managing vice president at Gartner, in a statement.

"We advise establishing codes of behavior that apply in any circumstance when an employee is acting as a company representative, whether in a real or virtual environment."

Gartner encouraged businesses to trial using avatars, but advised them to help users learn to control their digital selves by educating users on reputation management and extending codes of conduct to virtual environments.

However, the analyst firm added that businesses must recognise that users will have a "personal affinity" with their avatars, and take pride in personalising its appearance.

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