WTF is ‘digital debt’ and can AI help fix it?

The lead image shows an illustration of a person spinning plates in front of a computer.

This article was first published on Digiday sibling WorkLife

Ever have those days when you feel like you’ve worked non-stop but by the end of the day feel only a sense of dissatisfaction and weary frustration? Like, you haven’t actually achieved anything?

You’re not alone. And guess what, there’s now a new term for it: digital debt.

Modern workers are being buried under a mountain of ever-increasing digital communications. Whether it’s in the form of emails, chat platforms, video meetings or other digital notifications – the sheer volume of digital information and communications we’re required to consume and respond to on a daily basis, is becoming overwhelming.

It’s putting workers in “digital debt” — where the constant need to coordinate and communicate at work is taking time away from deep thinking, creating and actually working, according to a new report from Microsoft.

While desk workers have long been slammed with overloaded inboxes, the pandemic and hybrid working arrangements are highlighting how communicating too much can harm productivity and hinder employees’ abilities to do their jobs effectively. 

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