Many non-executive directors use the services of a PA to help ease their workload, ensure they are organised and most importantly, to guarantee they are where they need to be when they need to be. Basically, many non-executive directors rely on their PA to take complete control of all things logistical!
A PA is there to support you on a daily basis and free up your time, allowing you to focus on the important responsibilities that come with your various Board appointments. We’ve found many of our non-executive clients who are working with PA’s on our team, start off slowly, but then quickly expand the amount of tasks they delegate from their to-do lists.
To give you a feel for the types of tasks our team are routinely responsible for, here’s our top 5 tasks our current Chairman/non-executive director clients love handing over to their virtual PAs.
#1: Email and Diary Management
Planning your time effectively is an essential skill for any director to master. You absolutely don’t want to spread yourself or your time too thinly. It’s often easier said than done, when you have an overflowing inbox and a multitude of meetings to either organise and/or attend. And of course, not forgetting all the requests for your availability to join an additional board meeting or conference call.
Our PAs all use the ‘One diary and everything is noted within it’ motto. If they’re managing your diary for you, they can ensure you’re not darting all over the place to attend meetings. It’s vital the logistics and travel time between meetings is taken into consideration when agreeing meetings.
They can also get proactive with your emails – if there’s something a PA can deal with on your behalf, consider it done. And, if it’s something that needs your immediate attention, they’ll make you aware.
We have loads of tips and advice to share, when it comes to flawless diary management. From blocking out time as ‘TBC’, through to keeping track of your declined invitations and all-day events across the top of your schedule. Should your plans change, it’s then easy for your PA to pull these previously declined invitations down into your day and check the host has availability for you to join any one of those previously declined events!
#2: Travel/Hotel/Airport Transfers
If you need to fly to Budapest, Geneva or Stockholm for meetings, a PA can take care of getting you there, without the hassle. As they’re managing your diary, they can see at a glance, the best time for you to fly, as well as ensuring there’s breathing space to cover any delays to, from and at, the airport.
#3: Professional Development/Networking opportunities
Both professional development and networking are essential for anyone in business, and non-executive directors are no different. PAs understand this and, if they know you’re interested in particular topics – such as AI, Remuneration, Future of Audit, the Digital Age and other events or breakfast series run by PWC, KPMG, Deloitte’s Academy or Winmark – they can help you make the most of these opportunities. If you’re a member, a PA will register you and ensure you’re in the right place at the right time, to maximise on the ROI of each.
#4: Claiming Expenses
Claiming for your expenses can be a time consuming task for you. However, if you send receipts over to your PA, they can work with your respective boards to reclaim on a monthly or quarterly basis, for you. They’re also able to let you know when the money hits your bank account, if that’s something you’d like them to do!
#5: Personal Stuff!
A PA is more than equipped with the skills needed, to also help you manage administration and tasks related to the personal side of your life. As we well know, this often has a task list that is never ending!
The problem is, you’re often too tied up with the professional side of your life, to deal with those personal tasks – so they often get pushed further and further down your to-do list. Often at a detriment to your health, wellbeing and general stress levels! So offload it all to your PA. They are more than capable of booking medical and dentist/hygienist appointments, researching chalets for skiing, or booking theatre tickets and/or weekends away. If you have important celebrations to remember, they can ensure your private dinners are arranged, along with any gifts that are needed. Your car is also essential to your life – both professional and personal – so a PA can book it in for services and MOTs, and ensure you also have a hire or courtesy car booked for any time you may need one. In short, PAs are great at the handling your personal stuff!
A PA is there to support you on a daily basis, for a much or as little time as you need. I hope, by seeing the tasks our current Chairman/non-executive director clients love passing over to their PAs, it’s helped you see how a PA can add value to you, should you decide to utilise their skills! It by no means needs to be restricted to just your professional life, personal aspects are achievable too.
For more ideas on the types of task you can outsource to a Virtual PA and why you should, have a read of this Reasons to Outsource and decide what your first steps will be to do so!