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Business Productivity Tools: 5 Things That Should Be on Every IT Manager's Summer To-Do List

When it's hot outside and half your staff seems to be on vacation, it can be tempting to cut out early and hope no one notices. However, instead of wasting precious time, smart IT managers should use their downtime to focus on projects coming down the pipeline in the fall and tend to other items that support their organizations — you know, all of those things that seem impossible to get done the rest of the year, such as training your staff or researching new business productivity tools.

A woman using business productivity tools to work more efficiently.
During the summer, use business productivity tools to prepare yourself and your team for whatever changes come up.

After working at a frantic pace all winter and spring, you can use the summer to catch your breath and accomplish the five following tasks:

1. Determine Projects for the Fall and Create a Schedule

Now that you have time, you can stop reacting to fires and plan ahead. Make a list of all the projects your team has been tasked with to assist other departments, as well as any internal projects. Then, start to draft a project plan and timeline for each one. By getting everything in order now, it will be easy to kick-start these new initiatives while you kick off your white shoes after Labor Day.

2. Think About What Training You and Your Staff Need for Upcoming Projects

Summer is a great time to send your staff to training. Think about your employees' current skills compared to what they need to handle the upcoming challenges. Once you've identified your training needs, determine the best ways to fill the gaps, such as in-person courses, online classes, or self-study programs. Then, get started on adding to their expertise — as soon as they're back from the beach, that is.

3. Investigate New Business Productivity Tools

Yes, you've been doing this all year, but it's likely been in response to requests and problems. Spend some time thinking about the current communication tools your business uses for both internal and external communications. Could you invest in new communication technology to improve productivity? Could cloud-based tools help increase your revenue? Be creative and see if you can help solve some of your company's biggest challenges by researching technology that will help everyone do their jobs better.

Instead of wasting precious time, smart IT managers should use their downtime to focus on projects coming down the pipeline in the fall and tend to other items that support their organizations.

4. Build Relationships With Other Departments

IT used to be a separate department that simply responded to issues. However, technology is now integrated in every function of your company and you likely work with many departments, including marketing, operations, and support. Set up meetings with other department leaders to hear their concerns and brainstorm ways your department can help solve their problems.

5. Clean Your Desk, Inbox, and Files

There never seems to be enough time to do basic housekeeping tasks. However, you're probably more productive and less stressed when you can easily find what you need. Spend some time this summer organizing your papers, deleting old emails, and cleaning out the files on your computer. If you really get into tidying up, you can even start cleaning out old files on the company network as well.

By using this time to focus on the company's long-term needs, you can stay one step ahead of the chaos and be ready for whatever comes next. You'll be thankful you used this time wisely when fall finally hits.

Speak to a Vonage Business consultant to learn more about using business productivity tools.

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