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July 25, 2020

In the news: BBC Breakfast Segment on Remote Working

DS
Dominique Summers 5 minute read

Recently, our CEO Simon Haighton-Williams was invited to contribute to a segment aired on BBC Weekend Breakfast on remote working. 

The segment covers an opportunity for people to apply to work (remotely) in Barbados in an attempt by the Barbados government to improve their economy, which has seen a sharp downturn due to Covid-19. 

Simon Haighton-Williams on BBC Breakfast

Simon Haighton-Williams on BBC Breakfast, Saturday 25 July 2020

Talking to Mr Browning from the BBC, Simon discussed the benefits of working from anywhere in the world - as long as there is a fast internet connection. 

As well as commenting on Adaptavist’s own successful remote working culture, Simon also covered how he has seen companies are now being forced to adjust to a remote working culture as their new normal.

Want to know more? Read the segment transcript

Roger Johnson:
Six minutes to nine. Many of us have had to adapt to working from home during lockdown, but if that is set to continue, do you fancy a change of scene?

Rachel Burden:
This is amazing. Today, applications open for work for people to ... Sorry, open for people to live and work in Barbados for a year. You do need a bit of cash in the bank, and you do need to be COVID-free, as Simon Browning reports.

Simon Browning :
Look at it, blue sea, golden sand. Now the last few months have been tough, but would you swap all of this for a year working there?

 Simon Browning :
The government there is being very clever, and who can blame them when it looks like this? And within a global collapse in tourism and the surge in remote working, it's never looked so attractive.

Maurice Fortier:
A little bit of clouds, but it's quite nice here in Barbados today. I got a few of my dogs hanging out here by the pool, and yeah, I cannot recommend enough.

Simon Browning :
Maurice has been working remotely in Barbados for 20 years. This is the space outside his office. It's not a bad view.

Simon Browning :
So obviously the lure of Barbados is that beautiful water and those amazing beaches. How much does the beach play a part in your life day-to-day?

Maurice Fortier:
Not a lot, to be fair.

Simon Browning :
What?

Maurice Fortier:
Probably a lot less than ... I mean, my kids, they probably go to the beach much more than I do, but if I'm looking at what I do in my downtime, it's more golf. I'm involved in auto sports.

Simon Browning :
So what's the catch for living here in paradise? Well, you're going to need about £1,500 for the visa if you're on your own, and about £2,500 for the visa if you're a family, and it's valid for a year. But just imagine all those Zoom calls. Shirt on top, but you're always beach ready below.

Petra Roach:
Right now, people want those people who haven't done a gap year. Now that they've got the opportunity to work remotely, it's a fantastic opportunity for them. I think that we'll get a lot of millennial families as well. People who want a safer environment for their kids, and we also will have those people who probably are retirement age and are looking to do something which is little bit different.

Simon Browning :
Barbados isn't the only country offering a scheme like this. Bermuda and Chile have done similar things, because countries that rely on the income of tourists have been crippled by coronavirus. Tourism is the leading sector in the Barbados economy that counted for an estimated 40% of total income.

Simon Haighton-Williams:
I think most companies have now have been forced to accept the fact that remote working is a possibility.

Simon Browning :
So is it possible for us all to just leave our offices behind and de-amp to remote spaces and places?

Simon Haighton-Williams:
I think the reason that people live in cities, a large part of the reason is because of proximity to cinemas and events and theater and those kinds of things. Also, because it's close to work. When that link is tied, people can make a different choice, and people, I think, will choose to live out in villages and wherever there's fast internet.

Simon Browning :
So tell me, if one of your team asked to apply to go to Barbados, what would you say?

Simon Haighton-Williams:
Well, we're quite lucky. So remote working has always been part of our culture, and we'd make it work. We have people spread all around the world and we already have people in different places in Europe. So it would work well for us.

Simon Browning :
The application process is now open, and in these tough times, we can all fantasize about moving to paradise. But if you play it right, you could be bouncing all the way to Barbados. Simon Browning, BBC News.

Rachel Burden:
Not in Barbados. I mean, I think given the choice, he would have gone over there to do it, but yes, sadly he was in front of green screen.

Roger Johnson:
Just doing my application.

-- End transcript --

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Acknowledgements: 
Images in this blog taken from bbc.co.uk - https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer
Transcript of the BBC Breakfast Segment, initially aired Saturday 25 July 2020