Jack of All Trades – Tips for PAs on saving time and sanity

[fa icon="calendar"] 11-Aug-2017 11:06:51 / by Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson

Picture this: It's Monday morning. There are 94 emails in your inbox. You have four meetings scheduled before 2pm, a conference call, board report notes to prep and the unenviable task of booking flights and hotels, within a tight budget, for three C-level executives for an international conference before close of day.

You might just about drown in your coffee cup.


Personal Assistants are not what they used to be. In the old days, the general perception was that PA’s were responsible for organising their boss’s diary and making cups of tea. Ever heard the adage ‘Behind every great boss is a great PA?’ No, neither did we. Mainly because PA’s are the silent partners, the unspoken heroes that are the backbone of efficient executives.


If we were to really showcase what the modern-day PA does, their skills would fall into one or all of these categories:

  • Fixer
  • Head of Problem Solving (well...Head of Everything come to think of it…)
  • Mind Reader
  • The Font of All Knowledge
  • Firefighter
  • Keeper of Secrets
  • Counsellor
  • Life Organiser
  • Budget Manager
  • Travel Agent


And they weren’t lying about being a Keeper of Secrets – PA Life magazine in the UK reported one PA travelling to New Zealand with her boss only to be asked, or rather told upon arrival, to board a return first class flight back to London, to pick up a birthday present for the boss’s wife that he had left behind. The PA was given a four-hour turnaround time with which to land, get the present and hop back on a flight to New Zealand.


Another PA had to go so far as to organise her boss’s honeymoon. Wonders will never cease!

What was interesting about their most recent survey was the finding that almost half of all PA’s (49%) support three or more managers. Say what? Yes, you heard it right, that’s having three bosses to report to, three bosses’ diaries to manage and three bosses’ professional lives to organise.


That's an awful lot of demands in your precious amount of time.

Tellingly, when PA’s were asked who they would ideally love to work for, they said it would be their own, current boss (well, technically that’s a lie, Sir Richard Branson came in 1st place – we’ve all heard about his amazing work perks! – but out of anyone in the world they could ideally work for, the PA’s own boss was up there in 2nd place). So, despite the crazy workloads, PA’s really do love being Chief Fixer, Problem Solver, Fountain of Knowledge, Firefighter, Keeper of Secrets, Travel Agent and Life Organiser for their bosses.


So back to Monday’s task at hand and being the role of Travel Agent, booking hotels, within a tight budget, for three bosses for an international conference before close of business. With more and more companies ditching Travel Management Companies (TMC’s) in cost cutting initiatives, how does the PA, almost drowning in their workload, get this done efficiently?


If you’re an Office Manager or PA we all know how much time you can spend, like the rest of us, surfing the net for the best possible deals, always searching the next site with a ‘just in case it could be cheaper’ attitude in mind.


What you don’t need is the stress and hassle of searching for hotels, comparing rates, contacting hotels, negotiating deals and making sure that all your staff are booking within the company policy. Even thinking about it is a little stressful.


Roomex cuts all of this out. The hotel booking platform is specifically designed for business travel. With over 550,000 hotels, the platform displays the best corporate rates in your chosen location. It incorporates the Online Travel Agent element, including useful sites such as Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com and compares your own negotiated corporate rates with Roomex’s own directly negotiated contracts to give you the best possible price. No time is spent negotiating different rates with lots of different hotels, Roomex looks after all that.


Life is busy and being a PA is busier. With Roomex, you can wave bye-bye to valuable time wasted searching multiple hotel sites. Payments don’t even have to be reconciled from company credit cards or hotel invoices – you only ever have one Roomex bill, already broken down by cost code.


And because Office Managers and PA’s will also be acting as Chief Accountant (or accountable to a real one!) Roomex consolidates all hotel bookings, expenditure and internal cost codes into one report so Office Managers and PA’s can see at a glance how much is being spent on hotel accommodation and expenses at any stage throughout the year.


End result? You’ll save.

On average 21% on your hotel bookings. (And 100% on your sanity.)

And then you can sit back and confidently add Planner Extraordinaire to your extensive list of titles.


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Topics: Corporate Travel, Hotel Savings, Cost Savings, Business Travel

Kate Jackson

Written by Kate Jackson