Words by Ben Stower
As a personal assistant, your life can turn extremely busy in an instant, especially when the people you work for travel a lot. You then need to organise flights, travel insurance, hotels, airport pickups and more while ensuring zero mishaps and keeping on top of your other day-to-day jobs.
If you haven't organised a lot of travel before, this can be an arduous task with many traps and opportunities for mistakes, especially when short on time.
Do you risk booking the wrong flight or worse, or do you look at employing your own personal business travel expert to guide you from start to finish, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
An FCBT Travel Manager can do all the above and more, ensuring your life and your employers' travel plans run as smoothly as a flight from Sydney to Brisbane.
Overworking Leads To More Mistakes
Remember that job description you read when applying for your current PA job? Chances are you're currently looking after double the amount of responsibilities.
Filing data, dealing with incoming email and phone calls, arranging daily meetings and producing reports are just the tip of the iceberg of a PA's nine-to-five. And on top of the usual work, you also need to liaise with clients and keep the right people smiling at all times.
Throw organising travel into this already overflowing workload and we've just encountered the dangerous state of 'overworked'. Look at your workload right now. Could you handle booking flights, accommodation and more for multiple colleagues?
According to a publication by the Work and Family Researchers Network, 20 percent of all employees experiencing high overwork levels claim they make a lot of mistakes, compared to zero percent of those with low overwork levels.
Stress leads to mistakes, which then lead to more stress and so the vicious cycle goes. When performing your regular duties, these mishaps might range from forgetting your executive's coffee order to scheduling a meeting on the wrong day.
But when you're organising travel, the mistakes can have greater financial consequences, especially if you book the wrong hotel or forget to organise a connecting flight. In an instant the extra responsibilities you elected to oversee become just cause for job termination.
More business travel help
Reduce Stress & Increase Efficiency
For PAs just starting out, an FCBT Travel Manager can be a valued guide in navigating the oft confusing world of travel, while more experienced assistants can benefit from having additional time to perform other duties.
FCBT Travel Managers have spent years working in the travel industry as consultants, with a large portion of that time dedicated to the business travel sector. These experts perform a multitude of roles including researcher, frequent flyer whiz, travel insurance contact, emergency support and bargain hunter.
However, most of your Travel Manager's worth resides in his or her ability to source you the best flights, hotels etc. in the shortest amount of time and at the smallest cost to your company.
Tasks that might have taken you weeks to finish can be achieved in one phone call, including:
- Travel insurance
- Car hire or pick-up service
- Frequent Flyer points
- Lounge passes
After that first booking, you'll be able to use the same Travel Manager for future bookings. With a deeper knowledge of your business, they'll be able to better your colleagues' experience.
With no lock-in contracts, you can treat Travel Managers as you would any regular travel consultant, only contacting them when you need assistance. Available 24/7, there will always be someone to help with queries and emergencies.
On the other end, you're left with more time, less stress and a reduced risk of making any mistakes. You also deliver the best possible travel experience for everyone.
What About The Admin?
Booking travel is only half the work. Organising payment, budgets and monthly reconciliations also contributes to your workload. Fortunately, your Travel Manager can help streamline all these back-office operations as well.
So long as you outline clear budget guidelines, a Travel Manager will always adhere to meet your cost needs. Through detailed reporting on how your money is spent, they'll also be able to identify areas where you can cut spending.
Payment doesn't have to be an up-front dilemma either. FCBT's monthly statements create a clear picture of how much you have left to pay and where your money is going based on destination, airlines and individual travellers. Monthly reconciliations are also much easier with FCBT's consolidate spend set-up.
Companies Benefitting From A Travel Manager
You're not the only one out there looking for help. FCBT has managed numerous Australian companies' travel plans for years, working with industry leaders around the country.
Companies currently employing Travel Managers to assist their PAs include:
- Below and Beyond
- Technogym Australia
- Interactive Freight Systems Pty Ltd
- White Clarke Group
- Secora Consulting
- Stonefish Recruitment
At the end of the day, working with an FCBT Travel Manager is about delivering the results your employer wants without giving yourself unnecessary stress and work.
For more information on how FCBT can help you with your business travel needs, call us today on 1300 797 826.
(All images: Getty)