Technology is evolving at a breakneck pace we’ve never encountered before. It’s everywhere we look and it’s certainly become a large part of what we do at work. It’s never been easier to communicate and connect with coworkers, colleagues, and clients.
But have we gotten to the point where people have become so inundated with communications that it’s having the opposite effect than intended?
Today’s workforce is grappling with an ever-expanding influx of digital communications. Be it emails, chat platforms, video conferences, or other digital notifications, the sheer volume of digital information and messages we need to engage with and respond to daily is becoming increasingly overwhelming. It’s putting people in what’s been coined “digital debt.” What is it? Our software recruiters in Toronto discuss this increasingly important topic.
What is Digital Debt?
The volume of data, emails, and chat messages that employees must handle daily has surpassed our capacity to effectively manage it all, leading to what is referred to as “digital debt.”
People are in constant need to communicate with others and it’s taking time away from more valuable activities. This includes focusing on strategic thinking, creation and completing tasks promptly. Digital debt is too much communication and information that hurts productivity.
What are our Digital Debts Costing Us?
According to Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index Report, digital debt is preventing innovation. It also highlighted a need for AI proficiency for every employee to help overcome this issue.
“This year’s report highlights a growing concern among both employees and employers about how maximizing their productivity often leaves them with little time for more creative and innovative work,” said Naim Yazbeck, General Manager of Microsoft UAE.
“The report also revealed that a large number of professionals in the workforce today are looking forward to next-generation AI helping to lift the weight of work. However, for this to happen, business leaders have to ensure that they are empowering their employees with the skills necessary to properly and responsibly leverage AI.”
Key Insights From The Microsoft Report
Three important insights were discovered by the report:
- Digital debt is costing us innovation: The report found that 64% of employees don’t have enough time and energy to get their work done. Of these employees, they are 3.5 times more likely to communicate struggles in being innovative.
- Employees are looking to AI to help with the workload: 49% of employees said that they are worried that AI will replace their jobs. However, 70% said that would delegate as much work as possible to AI to reduce their workloads. This could help increase their efficiency.
- All employees need to learn how to use AI: 82% of leaders anticipate their employees will need new AI skills. However, 60% of workers say they don’t currently have the right capabilities to get their work done. AI tools can help to bridge this gap.