Over the last few weeks I have been writing about the four steps of business travel, firstly I published waving goodbye to your Exec. The second step was Delivering your Exec to their destination and the third step was managing your Executive while they are on the road. Today I will look at the final step: Getting your Executive home.

So your Executive has made it to their destination, settled into the hotel and conducted the important business meetings that took them there in the first place. Now they just have to get back home. This should be the easy bit! After all they have already managed to complete the outbound journey successfully and it is pretty much the same thing just in reverse! However, as all Assistants know full way ‘easier said than done!’. Here are a few tips to ensure your Executive gets back to business quickly.

Manage the office

While they are away you should be given the task of running the office. Make sure that everything runs smoothly so that your manager can concentrate on their business overseas and keep distractions at bay and if possible delay any decisions until they are back. Once they are back in the office bring them up to speed as quickly as possible. Let them know the decisions you have taken on their behalf and follow up on any actions so that they feel confident that you have the work under control.

Keep in contact

It is easy to take your eye off the ball one you know your Executive is on their way back home. But it is worth remembering that most people become even more impatient when travel plans are delayed on the way back from a trip. Many a time I’ve heard Executives say ‘just get me home’. Do still use all of the apps available to track their flight’s progress and make alternative plans if there are any delays. It is very important that you keep in touch if they are stuck at an airport or trying to get home amongst the chaos of delayed travel. Quite often it is the people on the ground that are not given the information they need and have to rely on others to keep them up to speed.

Coping with jet lag

Can you help your manager cope with any jet lag they may experience? Try to add a little recovery time once they arrive home, even if they get to an airport lounge and refresh before heading to the office. Otherwise move all of their meetings to the day after they return. If they do insist on coming into the office ensure they have a very light schedule that day.

Catch up meeting

The most important step is arranging a catch up meeting once they return to the office so that you can update them on everything while they have been away.

I want to remind you that there are still free places available for Assist Travel on Friday 25th September. If you do book complex business trips for your organisations the conference sessions will really help you develop your skills in this area.