Real Estate News

Working From Home? Why Not Move to Barbados?

Written By: Jaymi Naciri
Sunday, August 09, 2020

But theres one more importantand brand-newreason to move to Barbados: You can now get a 12-month visa to work in a place thats just SLIGHTLY more inviting than your hastily-thrown-together home office.nbsp;

Yes, now you can trade cramped city apartments for the islands white sandy beaches, blue sea and year-round sunshine, as NBC News puts it. Let us explain.

But even as the pandemic continues to rage, the government of Barbados, a country in the eastern Caribbean, is sending a very different message: Come here, not just for a holiday, but for up to a year. Bring your laptop, said the Washington Post. Soak up the sun, the sea, the sand and forget about thenbsp;coronavirus.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the announcement during a recent event, introducing the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp to allow visitors the option to work remotely from Barbados for a year at a time, said Government Information Service.nbsp; The stamp concept, now being refined for promotion, would allow persons to come and work from here overseas, digitally so, so that persons dont need to remain in the countries in which they are.

Speaking during the official reopening of Primo Bar and Bistro, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, last night, the Prime Minister said one of the things the pandemic has shown is that it made short-term travel more difficult because of the testing and the requirements for rapid testing, which were not >

According to NBCDFW, the Barbados Welcome Stamp, is set to launch in August and will be open to anyone earning more than 50,000. The scheme is designed to provide a much-needed boost to the islands tourist-dependent economy, while capitalizing on the shift in work patterns driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim is to attract remote workers, with a bill to be introduced in Parliament by the government that will remove the local income taxes that normally kick in after six months.

The program has unsurprisingly sparked global interest. Considered from a cramped apartment in London or New York, working remotely on a beach has an appeal even to those who know little about Barbados.

Though the coronavirus has disrupted many aspects of our work lives, it may accelerate some trends. Gallupnbsp;polling of Americansnbsp;conducted this spring found that 62 percent said they had worked remotely at some point by April, an increase from 31 percent in mid-March.

Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159 increase in remote work. In 2015,nbsp;3.9 millionnbsp;U.S. workers were working remotely. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4 of the population.

More than two-thirds of people around the world work away from the office at least once every week, according to researchers.

A study >

The ability to work from home and the emergence of digital office rental services has led to changing attitudes around where people should work and whether they should stick to the traditional nine-to-five working hours.

For instance, WeWork a competitor of IWG, which owns Regus and Spaces provides shared workspaces for companies and freelancers.

IWG said the study >

The biggest driver is digital changing every industry in the world, Dixon told CNBC in a phone interview. On the one hand, its changing how real estate needs to be offered, but its also companies wanting something different in the digital world.

Dixon said that firms are less inclined to invest in real estate and were looking to digital services instead to hire out office spaces. He added that the idea of remote working allowed employees to be more flexible.

If you offer workers the chance to work where they need to be, and not where they are told to go to, it completely transforms their view of the company, they are more productive, Dixon said. If they can work at an office near to where they live or near to where they need to be, its totally transformational.

IWG surveyed 18,000 business professionals across 96 international companies for the study. Dixon said established corporates were leading the charge into remote working, to boost productivity and job satisfaction.

HSBC, for example,nbsp;rented out more than 300 hot desksnbsp;in a space run by WeWork in Hong Kong last year. WeWork,nbsp;reportedly worth 20 billionnbsp;after an investment led by Japans SoftBank, counts Microsoft, Salesforce and Spotify among its enterprise clients.

Last year, anbsp;reportnbsp;by U.S. market research firm Gallup found that the number of American employees working remotely rose to 43 percent in 2016 from 39 percent in 2012. Anothernbsp;study, by telecommuting research firm Global Workplace Analytics and recruitment firm FlexJobs, found that 3.9 million American workers said they telecommuted at least half of the time in 2015, representing an increase of 115 percent from the 1.8 million U.S. employees that said the same in 2005.

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