If you’re an EA or PA, you’re most probably all too familiar with having to get up in the middle of the night to accommodate your traveling executive’s timezone. While sometimes it’s inevitable that they will need your assistance outside of working hours, we all want to avoid those 3am wake-up calls as much as possible! Of course, unsociable working hours aren’t the only challenge when it comes to managing their travel. Here, we’ve put together some handy tips for EAs to make your exec’s trip go smoothly – while making your life easier!
1. Make sure meetings are arranged in the correct time zone
It may sound obvious, but it’s an easy mistake to make. The world has 37 different time zones to contend with, making setting meetings abroad a potential mind-boggler. If you’re based in one time zone and your executive is frequently traveling to others, it’s often difficult to maintain accuracy. Make sure that meetings are scheduled using the correct time zone, and try installing an app that displays your most frequent time zones next to each other, so you can quickly cross-check times of the day in different countries. If you’re using the latest version of Microsoft Outlook, you can also display up to three time zones in your calendars, and you can swiftly switch between time zones if you need to.
2. Use technology to pre-book airport transfers
Booking transfers in advance helps ensure your executive gets to the airport on time, without stress. This may mean spending time on the phone to car companies, verbally spelling out your executive’s travel details. However, with the right technology, you can pre-book vehicles at the click of a button. Gett’s platform, for example, lets you pre-book airport transfers in many major airports around the world, and even include the flight number so that the driver at the other end is notified of any delays. You can also track the status of the bookings you have made, and Gett sends out pick-up information to your rider automatically – meaning less work and worry for you.
3. Send calendar invites for rides
Another handy way to make sure your executive’s journey goes smoothly is to send calendar invites for each ride. This can be easily done through Gett, which can automatically send a calendar invite with all the ride details to your riders. This will mean less need for your executive to contact you – they’ll have all the information they need within the invite.
4. Use tech to minimize the amount of expenses you will have to process when they return
Expenses can be the bane of many EAs’ lives. Your executive can often rack up huge numbers of transactions while traveling, and these will typically come to you to file and claim. Luckily for EAs, technology has enabled the complete automation of expense filing. Take taxi receipts, for example. For all vehicles booked through Gett, there is no need to file an expense manually; this is all done automatically, and your company instead receives one invoice for all the travel done through Gett per month. Technology is increasingly taking over these mundane tasks so you can spend your time doing something more fulfilling!
5. Ensure they have data roaming
Whatever phone contract your company has, you’ll want to make sure it’s geared to meet the needs of your executive while abroad. It may help to add a data roaming bundle to their phone so that it’s easy and cheap to make and receive calls. Be aware of spending caps; often these are set quite low, meaning that – when the spending limit is reached – the phone will not accept incoming or outgoing calls. This may catch your executive out, and they may reach out to you for help. You can avoid that by educating yourself on your executive’s phone contract and any limitations.
6. Get to know your executive’s travel preferences
Knowing how your executive likes to travel will play a key role in helping the trip to go smoothly. Do they have a particular hotel they always like to stay in or a lounge they like to visit; a loyalty scheme with a hotel or airline, or even a particular preference over room type? They might also prefer certain types of vehicles to get them to and from the airport in comfort, or prefer a certain time of day to travel. They might even like to have certain creature comforts on their trips – from travel pillows to travel apps. Consider how you can make sure they have all they need – you can often use travel technology to record these preferences for their next trip. Gett’s platform makes it easy to save preferences such as vehicle types and pick-up addresses, assigning them to specific riders. This will not only help you get your executive to meetings on time, but will ensure your life is easier too!
7. Provide a travel itinerary
We have all sorts of technology at our fingertips, but sometimes your executive might prefer you to put together a full itinerary for his or her trip. This could extend beyond traveling to and from meetings; they might also want you to source restaurant recommendations, things to do while they’re not working, where to find the nearest business facilities, or how to easily book a cab. Drafting your own brand of travel itinerary will help keep your executive on time, and will give you extra brownie points! It can also be useful for you too – keep a copy and therefore stay on top of exactly where your executive is and what information they have at hand.