So, according to recent studies, the amount organizations spend on business travel is increasing year on year. Our Executives are hoping on flights, checking into far flung destinations and attending meetings all over the world. This means that the amount of time assistants spends organising business travel is only going to grow. Throw into the mix the fact that we are seeing the rise of the Millennials (those born roughly between 1980-2000) into managerial positions we can safely say organising business travel is changing! It is vital that we keep up with these changes. Organising business travel is changing… Are you? What can assistants expect in the next few years when it comes to managing business travel for their Executives?
Different technologies are having an impact on our role and we need to proactively embrace and engage in all manner of office tech to ensure we stay current in the role. This is particularly important when it comes to business travel. Your current Executive may prefer you to print out their boarding passes and itineraries but managers change! In five year’s time you may find that everything you do for a new manager has to be on their phone, watch or whatever piece of tech is invented next! As most of us know Millennials love technology and will prefer to have everything available on cloud based systems so that they access the information wherever and whenever. Even if you find that at the moment you are not using a lot of tech to help with your business travel tasks you should be aware of what is out there.
Bleisure travel is apparently (hey, I’m only just a Millennial!) the mixture of business and leisure travel. Or in other words, tacking on some holiday time to your business trip. I think most of our Executives have done this at some point and usually we will be asked to also manage the holiday side of the trip. In the past this might have been so difficult to organise. A few extra flights might of been booked, a nicer hotel here or there. However, with Executives and other members of staff also taking these leisure trips, managing the process becomes somewhat more difficult for assistants. According to research, Millennials are less likely to follow a corporate business policy and are more inclined to book business travel as they would their own personal trips – this means using their phone to book flights, on their personal credit cards and also taking friends or family along for the ride. What does this mean for assistants? Well, keeping track of their expenses is going to be even more difficult and using a spreadsheet for this task is still unbelievably common. Keeping track of them in general may prove to be more tricky from the office – I can only imagine the amount of questions an assistant will get asked now that blesiure has become a trend… “Yes, he is working today”… “No, he is on holiday” etc etc.
New Travel Destinations
A few years ago, my Executives generally travelled to the same places over and over. I used to spend ages sorting out Visas, flights and hotels in Asia, for example. All of the countries had different guidelines for business travel. It took quite some time getting my head around all of the various rules. But once I had organised a few business trips I felt confident in my knowledge. Nowadays, business trips are taking place all over the world. Many Executives are flying to South America, taking a bleisure trip to the Caribbean and flying on to the States for a quick meeting before returning to the UK. Millennials can be pretty spontaneous with their plans, and their assistants will have to keep up to date on all of the different regulations affecting the trip.
Are you gearing up to support a Millennial manager?
Business travel is changing and assistants will have to change the way they plan and organise trips to keep up to date with their Executive’s expectations. It is a tricky part of the role and it looks set to become a bigger part of the job and more difficult to manage. However, technology and a few other useful tricks will help keep assistants on track with this task. If you do manage business travel for your Executive or your organisation I would recommend you come along to Assist Travel on the 9th September to get a real grasp on business travel management. Here are the details:
The aims of Assist Travel are three fold. Firstly, to reduce the time, effort and money that Assistants and their organisations spend on business travel. At the end of this conference, attendees will have the knowledge and the connections to greatly improve their business travel processes and procedures. This knowledge can be transferred into savings for their organisation.
Secondly, it is to reduce the amount of time that Assistants spend on booking travel, in the hope that it will free up time for Assistants to spend on much more interesting projects. As Amy Smith, Executive PA, at Skyscanner explains: “After realising that I spent nearly all of my time organising business travel for my Executive (a massive 24 days per year) I met with senior staff at Skyscanner to see if I could work on a project that would reduce the amount of time all Assistants spent on organising trips. At the end of the project we reduced the time from 24 days per year to 4.5 hours! A huge efficiency for the business.”
And finally, we want to impart the knowledge that ensures your Executive has the best possible experience while travelling on business. We want this to be measurable, easy to manage, more enjoyable and relaxing for you and your Executive.
Prices start from £100+VAT. Group discounts are available if you would like to get in touch I can give you more details.