Should PAs and EAs do personal errands and tasks for their boss?

Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 by PA bloggerNo comments

There was a somewhat heated debate on Mumsnet recently about whether those in PA jobs in London and beyond should be expected to run personal errands for their boss. Despite voices on both sides, there was no real consensus, despite a great deal of debate. So, here we explore the pros and cons of those in PA jobs running personal errands for their boss so that you can weigh it up for yourself.

The pros

Building strong rapport: Assisting with personal errands can help develop a stronger relationship between PAs/EAs and their bosses. By going the extra mile, PAs/EAs showcase their dedication, reliability, and willingness to support their boss in all aspects of their life.

Increased trust and responsibility: Taking on personal errands demonstrates the boss's confidence in their PA/EA, granting them greater autonomy and responsibility. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and professional growth within the role.

Seamless work-life integration: By helping with personal tasks, PAs/EAs contribute to a smoother work-life balance for their boss. This can alleviate stress and allow the boss to focus on their professional responsibilities, ultimately enhancing productivity.

The cons

Blurred boundaries: Running personal errands may blur the line between professional and personal life, potentially compromising work-life balance for PAs/EAs. This could lead to feeling overwhelmed or being taken advantage of, impacting their job satisfaction and well-being.

Time management challenges: Personal errands can consume valuable time and shift focus away from core job responsibilities. PAs/EAs may find themselves juggling competing demands, potentially leading to decreased efficiency and increased stress levels.

Professional image: Some argue that performing personal errands may undermine the professional image of PAs/EAs. It could be perceived as menial or outside the scope of their role, potentially affecting career progression or being taken for granted.

Finding the balance

To strike a balance, clear communication and boundaries are crucial. PAs/EAs should engage in open discussions with their bosses to define expectations and set limits regarding personal errands. You should also pay attention to what was determined at the outset and in your contract, about whether personal errands are included in your professional duties.

Here are some tips to consider:

Clarify expectations: Discuss with your boss what personal errands they expect you to handle and establish boundaries regarding the extent of your involvement.

Prioritise responsibilities: Ensure that personal tasks do not interfere with crucial job responsibilities. Plan and manage your time effectively to maintain productivity and meet deadlines.

Negotiate support: If personal errands become overwhelming, discuss the possibility of hiring additional support or outsourcing certain tasks to maintain focus on core job functions.

Professional development: Seek opportunities to enhance your professional skills within your PA/EA role. Upskilling and taking on more complex tasks can contribute to career advancement and increased job satisfaction.

The question of whether PAs and EAs should do personal errands for their bosses remains subjective, with pros and cons on both sides. The key lies in open communication, clear boundaries, and finding a balance that works for both parties. At Love Success, a renowned PA recruitment agency in London, we understand the diverse expectations and dynamics within PA and EA roles. We aim to support PAs and EAs in finding positions that align with their preferences and professional growth.

If you’re looking for a new EA or PA role, call our PA recruitment agency on 020 7870 7177.

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