‘Pivot’ might just be the word of the year for 2020. Countless small businesses and retailers pivoted to online sales. Grocery stores pivoted to home delivery services. Your favorite spirit-makers pivoted to producing hand sanitizer by the truckload. And now we have hospitality brands doing some pivoting of their own with the invention of the “workation”.
Islands like Bermuda and Barbados are already pivoting to accommodate those working remotely, now Marriott, a major hotel chain is doing it, too.
What is a Workation?
Rather than being stuck working from home, spend the rest of the year working at a beachside hotel or resort where there’s plenty of socially distanced fun to be had! That’s the main crux of an extended stay workation and the idea is catching on with people who are sick and tired of being stuck at home.
Bermuda was one of the first places to accommodate workations when they launched their online application a few weeks ago. The island boasts broadband internet access, electric car rentals and plenty of beachside resorts to call your office for the next few months.
A letter from E. David Burt, JP, MP, Premier of Bermuda, welcomes guests and explains that Bermuda is one of the safest places you can be.
To date, Bermuda has successfully managed the Coronavirus Pandemic and our COVID-19 testing regime is the most stringent in the world. This has kept transmission of the virus to a minimum which allows our residents and visitors flexibility not seen in other jurisdictions.
The letter also explains what guests can expect:
As a holder of a residential certificate you will be a long-term visitor in Bermuda and we are ready to share our vibrant culture and unique brand of hospitality to cure the Coronavirus blues. No need to be trapped in your apartment in a densely populated city with the accompanying restrictions and high risk of infection; come spend the year with us working or coding on the water.
The program can get expensive, however. The application fee alone costs $263 just to process, not to mention the costs of a vacation rental or hotel room. Want to bring your family? They all need to apply individually and pay the application fee.
In order to qualify for the program, people must meet the following conditions:
- be at least 18 years old and pay the application fee
- not have been convicted of a crime in Bermuda or elsewhere
- possess valid health insurance coverage
- demonstrate employment with a legitimate company or your own company registered and operating outside of Bermuda, in the case of a remote worker
- provide evidence of enrollment in a Research, Undergraduate, Graduate or Doctorate Programme, in the case of a student
- have substantial means and/or have a continuous source of annual income
Workations for the Wealthy
Barbados has a similar workation program called the Barbados Welcome Stamp, but the application fee is $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for a family. The fees are non-refundable. Guests can stay in the country for up to 12 months from the date their application is approved.
A letter from Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Barbados, outlined why you should choose their island:
We recognise more people are working remotely, sometimes in very stressful conditions, with little option for vacation. Our new 12 month Barbados Welcome Stamp, a visa that allows you to relocate and work from one of the world’s most beloved tourism destinations.
We believe we have something very special to offer on this little rock we call Barbados. Our friendly people, professional services, commitment to education and importantly safety and security, all make Barbados an ideal place to live for both singles and families.
It’s pricey but if you could, would you skip town for a few months and work from a tropical island? Let us know in the comments below!