Insights About the Social Impact of Remote Work with Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson is the CEO and Founder of Remote Work Barbados Inc. He’s the innovator who gave the Barbados government the idea to invite people to Barbados to work remotely. He works to accelerate the social, cultural, and economic development of the country.

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Luis:

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to another episode of the DistantJob Podcast, your podcast about building and leading awesome remote teams. I am your host, Luis, and as usual, I have an awesome guest related to the world of remote working. My guest today is Peter Thompson. Peter is the CEO and Founder at Remote Work (Barbados) Inc. He’s the innovator who gave the Barbados government the idea to invite people to Barbados to work remotely. He works to accelerate the social, cultural, and economic development of Barbados. Peter, awesome to have you on the show.

Peter Thompson:

Thank you so much, Luis. It’s lovely to be here.

Luis:

I have to say, I was inspired by your writings. I loved the writing that you did on your original idea as you expanded it in your own blog. And then I went to your business website. If I understood correctly, you have a concierge business that helps people relocate to Barbados from other countries to work remotely? Correct?

Peter Thompson:

That’s correct.

Luis:

Okay. And I really loved how you outlined the benefits to people going there and also to Barbados. I don’t know how more people aren’t doing that. Why don’t we start there? Would you outline quickly for the listeners, what you did, what you’re doing, and why aren’t more countries following Barbados as lead, essentially, because it feels like it’s such an awesome idea?

Peter Thompson:

Well, thank you. It, of course, was prompted by the pandemic. But of course, the idea is much deeper and broader than the crisis of the pandemic. What happened was that I grew up in Barbados, but I left to go to university in Canada, and I had a career there as a management consultant mostly for 40 plus years. And then I came back to Barbados because I wanted to see if I could help Barbados progress economically, because Barbados exports a lot of our most talented people. And it’s hard to develop a country when there’s such a brain drain away from the country.

Peter Thompson:

And so I came back. And when COVID started, of course, I have so many connections in Canada and the States and the UK and Europe, that, like everyone else, my day was on Zoom and WhatsApp, communicating with all these friends and relations. And at that point, this was March, and everybody was in lockdown. And so in particular, I have a lot of friends in Toronto, and Toronto in March in lockdown is not a whole lot of fun.

Luis:

No, no. I have colleagues there. It is not.

Peter Thompson:

And so, very quickly the banter became, “Oh, we wish we were all in Barbados in lockdown.” And so, I quickly decided to just to scribble some economic analysis on the back of an envelope to see if this made sense. And it makes a lot of sense, both for the people coming to Barbados, and for Barbados. And I blogged about it, and nobody reads my blog. It’s there mostly for me to develop my ideas. But someone who is well connected to the government in Barbados and who was serving on a committee to try to find economic development ideas, saw the blog and he asked me to put it into a memo, leaving out all the parts where I said unkind things about the government, and then he would make sure the Prime Minister saw it. And I did and he did.

Peter Thompson:

But to be quite honest, I was thoroughly surprised when she actually acted on it. We are not used to governments anywhere being that entrepreneurial, to act on an idea, essentially, eight weeks after it was proposed to them. She had made it operational. That’s like at startup speed, and it is fantastic. And I really have to give full credit to Prime Minister Mottley here in Barbados, because without her action, it would simply be another blip in the traffic of my blog.

Peter Thompson:

And so she acted, and she acted fast and she acted smartly. She made the application really, really easy, completely online. She hired a small team of young people to man the office in the Department of Immigration, so people who were comfortable without leaving a paper trail, just doing things in the 21st century. And it took off. It took off in large part because Barbados was the first. And so it was slow time for news last July and August, so every television station and news organization around the world wanted to interview the Prime Minister, and she made time to interview.

Peter Thompson:

And so, the first applications came in within hours of the site going live. And the first arrivals were about 15 days later. So it was-

Luis:

Wow!

Peter Thompson:

… astounding speed.

Luis:

That was absolutely incredible. And obviously, props to the Barbados government for being able to do that at that speed and implement that program, and everything else. I do think that I’ve interviewed many people on this show, many good leaders, many people that have been able to teach me about how to manage great remote teams and how to build remote businesses and all of that, but I very seldom get to talk about social impact. And I think that’s a very underappreciated, global social impact is a very underappreciated part of remote work.

Luis:

I have to say, I live a very comfortable life here in Portugal, the country of my birth. I’ve traveled around, I’ve worked around, but I was born here. And eventually, I came back here with my lovely wife. And I live a comfortable… I’m not even anything close to rich, but I live a comfortable life. And people ask me, right? “You know what? This is not Portugal for an European country, it’s quite on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to economy. How do you live that wonderful life of yours?” And my answer is, “With a very poor US salary. That’s the key.”

Luis:

The thing is that there is such a wealth disparity between some countries and other countries, that, you’re right, that this has happened to Portugal as well, to a much lesser extent than to Barbados, but there was a brain drain, right? The people that had the skills moved away, and now we’re seeing that we can actually do that in the opposite direction, right? Wealth has traditionally accumulated in a couple, very few, like four or five countries, that amass like 90% of the world’s wealth. And now through appealing with the promises of a better, more cost effective lifestyle to people from those countries, we can actually bring the brains back to our countries and bring the wealth that comes with them. So again, my question is, why aren’t more countries realizing this? What do you think that’s missing? How do we get the Peter Thompson in most countries?

Peter Thompson:

Well, problem is twofold. And part of it is the nature of the capitalist economy, the other part is the nature of democratic governance. And with the economy, particularly technology, what has happened is that it has clumped into very concentrated dense collections of entrepreneurs, venture capital, essentially, Silicon Valley and all the places around the world that try to replicate Silicon Valley. And for the past… Well, essentially, since the dawn of the contemporary internet, so from the early 90s. So that’s 30 years, where you’ve been following this model of sticking all the talent and all the money in a room and making it make economic progress. And so that model doesn’t change overnight, but it is changing, because, of course, compared to 1990 money is more mobile, compared to 1990 people are more mobile. And so now that mobility will help spread the wealth around.

Peter Thompson:

In terms of democratic governance, I mean, I love democracy, but it’s not fast. Decision-making in a democracy has to be careful and it has to be reasonably distributed. And so, governance tends to… Even with governments that call themselves progressive, the decision-making process is conservative, because nobody wants to make a mistake. And the nature of economic change, of course, is that you have to risk making a mistake. That’s what startup life is all about. You do something without the proof that it’s going to work. Governments have a very, very hard time doing things without having the proof ahead of time that it’s going to work.

Peter Thompson:

Now, of course, now that Barbados is doing this successfully, there are lots of followers in the Caribbean, there’s Antigua, there’s Curaçao, there’s Bermuda, and Dominica and others. And I know that in Portugal, Madeira is doing this. I think the Cape Verde Islands are now doing it a little further south. And so-

Luis:

Is it easier on Madeira to your point about democracy? Because they are an autonomous government, so it’s much easier for them to pull those things off.

Peter Thompson:

Yes. Exactly. And the other thing about the reason why it happens in small places first, like Barbados and Madeira… I mean, Barbados is a country, yes, we have a city at the United Nations, but really between you and me, we are a small town surrounded by water. Basically, the reason that my idea was able to move so quickly is that the guy who put it in front of the Prime Minister was a guy who was at high school with me 50 years ago. And so, yeah. And degrees of separation are always that close. And I have no doubt that it’s similar in Madeira, everybody knows everybody else.

Peter Thompson:

And so, the promise of this change in the pattern of economic development is profound, and not just between countries, but within countries. There are lots of places, I’m sure Portugal has lots of places, villages where it’s just absolutely beautiful, whether it’s mountains or ocean or whatever your own idea of beauty is, but which have been losing population for successive generations because there is no economic engine once the era of agriculture had passed. And so this is a way to spread the population around the country in ways that make it better for everybody.

Luis:

Yeah, that’s an absolute great point. The rural exodus has been plaguing Portugal for two or three generations now. It’s a real issue, right? It’s a real issue to the point that government pays people, right? Buys people houses to move to the more central parts of the country, and people still don’t want to do it, right? I guess that part of it is because we’re a very sea-loving people, right? So everyone will have to move, but even then, right? There’s no reason that people should concentrate, congregate around Lisbon.

Luis:

So, I want to change tacks and talk a bit about the business you developed in tandem with this, right? Again, you get, from the things that I read about you on the internet, you get a lot of credit for pushing Barbados into this situation, into this very fortunate situation, but I don’t think you get credit enough for having the entrepreneurial spirit to then creating a business that will tap into the people coming in. You have a very comprehensive list of services in your business that’s Remote Work (Barbados), and I guess I wanted to ask, how did you reach this list of services? What were the challenges that you started seeing that remote workers had on Barbados that made you feel that okay, these were the things that you wanted to pursue? These were the problems that you wanted to solve?

Peter Thompson:

Well, Luis, you just answered your own question, really, because the list of services is essentially what has happened responding to challenges that people have encountered. I simply ask people, “What’s going wrong?” And find a way to try to help fix it. When people move for remote work, usually, if they move a long way away from their original location, many things they bring with them. People bring their pets, people bring their whole family, their children, sometimes their extended family, sometimes a nanny is part of the extended family. But the one thing they cannot put in a suitcase or buy a seat on an aircraft for is their community.

Peter Thompson:

So building community for people who are remote working in a new location is really job number one, helping them to build community. And it turns out to be quite easy because they are so open to new ideas and so hungry to build new community. So whether it’s building community between remote workers, or building community between remote workers and the local society, it is really quite easy, quite exciting, and immensely rewarding. So, when I conceived this idea, of course, what I was after was their local spending. I’ll be blunt. I needed people to come here and to help save a catastrophic collapse in the economy, because of course, we’re a tourism-reliant economy, and tourism went to zero overnight with all the flight cancellations and the lockdowns.

Luis:

Yeah. And to be clear, I like money, I love money, too. Right? Especially if you make the money from the benefit of other people, and not at their cost, right?

Peter Thompson:

Yes. And so, the money started to be spent. You see, my business operates mostly overwhelmingly by making connections between the people who need the service and the people who have the expertise to provide the service. I provide next to no services directly myself, I just make the connections. So, one of the first place I made successful connections was with the part of the tourism industry that rents beach villas. And they pivoted the fastest. And they pivoted so fast that in 2020, the tourism industry collapse in Barbados was 76%, because we had January, February, and a little bit of March, and then things started to come back a little bit tail end of December. So basically, a 76% collapse in visitors, probably a greater than 76% collapse in revenue for most businesses.

Peter Thompson:

But the businesses that pivoted had an all time record year in 2020. They had the most revenue that they had ever had. And they are also tourism businesses. And so then other people began to catch on a little bit that this was a meaningful economic activity. And what I came to understand quite quickly was that the money was great, but the real value is the human capital. Basically, the people who are coming to Barbados are experts in the 21st century. They are the people who are most adept at using the most powerful 21st century tools. They’re coders, they’re marketers embedded in the digital space, they’re digital natives.

Peter Thompson:

And Barbados has a decent education system, and we graduate computer science people and marketing people. And Barbadians are smart people, but they have a local market of a single, small city, 300,000 people. And so, in theory, they could market their products, their services globally, but they haven’t the connections, they don’t know the people who need their services in the major markets. So what I am beginning to engineer, and keen on engineering in the long run, is that the remote workers coming here make productive colleagues of the local people in their field. And it’s already happening. There are people in small remote first startups, and some of the team is in Barbados, and I’m seeing in the WhatsApp groups popping up on a regular, not frequent yet, but a regular basis, a position is opening, hasn’t been advertised yet, but if you have this skill set send me your resume.

Peter Thompson:

Because of course, they want to recruit colleagues in Barbados because they are having a great time, but it would be even more fun if they could sit down over a beer and talk shop with a local colleague.

Luis:

That’s a great point, to your point of community. So what have you done to nurture this communities? I mean, that was a wonderful story, but I didn’t completely get if this happened by design or happened organically, these communities.

Peter Thompson:

It happens organically, but haphazardly. First of all, the remote workers arrive and they set up WhatsApp groups and Facebook groups to share generally just day-to-day how to get along information. But then I join the same groups, because I’m able to answer lots of their questions, so I’m welcomed in the group, but then more and more locals join the same groups to network and to simply be helpful, because they understand that this is a long-term strategy for Barbados to essentially move beyond tourism as an economic engine.

Peter Thompson:

I mean, tourism will always be part of the economy, but the direction we need to go to diversify is, of course, where the global economy is, the digital economy. And of course, governments try all over the world to engineer this by policy, and it very rarely works. Everybody wants a Silicon this or a Silicon this, Silicon Beach, Silicon Alley. But actually creating that sort of ecosystem is incredibly difficult, but it is much more feasible to invite the fringes of that ecosystem to come and have fun and work in Barbados, and then hang on to their skirt tails.

Luis:

Yeah, that’s a really interesting strategy. And I think that it might be replicable for… And has been, right? You said it yourself, other people in the other countries in the Caribbean are doing it, right? So that absolutely makes sense. I would say that it’s important to have the infrastructure for it, right? And I do believe that Barbados has a very good infrastructure, if you know. I mean, if it’s an island with 300,000 people, it shouldn’t be hard to get good WiFi coverage, right? So, that’s an advantage.

Luis:

But overall, the thing that I see people struggling when they try to do the remote thing is number one, they try to do digital nomadism, which is basically traveling while working. And that can work out well for the people doing it, but it’s quite hard, it’s quite challenging, right? I personally prefer the model, which I think is the model that you also try to capture, the model of the person who simply want to work in one country and get their paycheck from another country. I do think that’s an optimal solution, right?

Peter Thompson:

You’re very right. In fact, I’ve met a number of ex-digital nomads, people who have been for the past six or seven years bouncing between Bali and Tulum and the Mexican Riviera. And they’re tired of it. It’s thrilling when you’re really young and you… But they came here and they were anxious to stay for a while. Some have been here for a year and are renewing for a second year. And that is the market that I really want to attract, that Barbados wants to attract.

Peter Thompson:

Because when I’m trying to explain this to other Barbadians, I tell them that I don’t simply want to recruit visitors, I want to recruit neighbors. And that level of interaction with this community coming to share our lives here has tremendously beneficial results for both parties.

Luis:

Yeah, and I like it that… Again, this was in your initial proposal, I believe, I’m not sure if that’s exactly what the Barbados government run with, but you did the math. And your initial proposal was that the facilitation would happen for people that had salaries over 50K. So you were immediately positioning Barbados as a high-end place. That’s a real living. It’s a low bar by US standards, but it’s a real living. It’s a paycheck that you can have a nice quality of life and a nice living experience in a country such as Barbados.

Peter Thompson:

Absolutely. And the people making that and actually the average… Again, I don’t have the data, but I can guess by their spending habits, that the average is well in excess of $50,000 a year. And so, that spending has a hugely beneficial impact in the local economy. And the difference between it and tourist spending is very, very important, because the psychographic of the people remote working is different. They want much more authenticity to their experience, they want much more to be integrated into the local community, they want to do the things which they would never have time for on a vacation, they want to learn to surf. Well, you can’t do that in two weeks.

Peter Thompson:

But now they have the time, and they love doing that. And for a tourism industry, I’m trying to get the tourism industry thinkers to understand that its long-term tourism, of which remote working is one big aspect, is much better for the destination than short-term tourism.

Luis:

Yeah. And to your point, getting neighbors, and I mean, it sucks for the tourist industry, because it’s no longer tourism, right? But I do think that it’s very healthy for your country, and I would wish that for my country as well, to be able to push past tourism. Because tourism is a great business model, but it’s also very fragile as we found out.

Peter Thompson:

Yes, it’s fragile, and it imposes costs on the local community, which aren’t always taken into account. The thing is that much of the tourism industry can pivot, because these long-term tourists… Like, we have a profitable part of the tourism business, which is day-charter catamarans. I don’t know whether you have them in Portugal. Basically, big catamarans, people get on there, they dance, they drink, they have a great time. And they’re out on the ocean for six hours.

Peter Thompson:

The thing is that the long-term visitors, they do that, and they don’t stop doing it. We go every month. Because they make it a social occasion. They get all their friends and they book the whole boat. So, it’s a party with your friends that happens to be on the water. And so much of the tourism industry can pivot. There are lots of hotels here, which are essentially apartment hotels, and they’re perfect for a large section of the demographic that come.

Peter Thompson:

We have, for example, a lot of young women unattached as part of the demographic coming. And they of course have particular needs around personal safety and security. An apartment hotel is perfect for many of them. Because one, it’s a shortcut to community when you’re 30-years-old and single, but you’re in an apartment block where there are another three dozen people in your age group also going through the same sort of experience that you are, being away from their country of origin. And so, community forms very quickly. And then, because of the hotel infrastructure, they always have a person at the front desk, they can pick up the phone and ask a question, how do I do this? How do I do that? Should I take this bus? Is it safe to go there? And so, it works quite well for much of the tourism industry if they have the gumption to pivot.

Luis:

Yeah, that’s a great point. So speaking of pivot, I want to pivot back to something that we talked before. So your renewed focus is to get the tech savvy population of Barbados to dive in to the global economy. And this is actually something that I’ve talked about for a long time. The original reason… I mean, DistantJob is first and foremost a recruitment company. And the reason I joined DistantJob specifically, it was because I did want to extend the opportunity of remote working to more people. And in my case, my personal history was in dealing with and helping people with disabilities. These are people that are massively disadvantaged by normal offices, by regular work culture, and they can really shine once they have access to remote work, because then the disability stops being a point of contention, so to say, and they can just shine through their work.

Luis:

So, I think that I joined DistantJob for partly similar goals to what you have right now. So, what do you think is the key to getting more of those Barbadians that have a good college education, a good grasp of technology to get them into the global workforce, right? What’s the missing key there?

Peter Thompson:

Well, I found that the missing key is bumping into and talking to the people in their age group and tech sector that they meet in Barbados, and having an aha moment. Like, “Yeah, he’s just like me. I mean, the job he’s doing is exactly the job I’d love to be doing. He’s five years out of a Bachelor’s in computer science, I’m four years out of a Bachelor’s in computer science.” So that realization, their job search, the geographical perimeter that they had psychologically placed around, can just dissolve.

Luis:

Yeah, that’s a great take on it. And definitely, I like your community take on that situation. Because it seems obvious, but I had never heard it put quite like that. We always say that it’s the people you know that make the difference, but we really don’t usually… We say it like almost as a dismissal of people don’t achieve things because they don’t know the right people, but maybe we’re just missing how easy it can be to start meeting the right people, or how easy we can make it for people to meet the right people. So that’s a great point. Thank you for bringing it up.

Luis:

So, I do want to be respectful of your time, I know we both have deadlines to meet. So I wanted to pivot to some rapid-fire questions. The questions are rapid-fire, but the answers don’t need to be. Feel free to expand as much as you’d like. I’d like to start by… Like, everyone is different. Of course, everyone has different needs and priorities. But given all the people that you’ve helped so far, if you could buy something in bulk for let’s say $100 to give to all the people you’ve helped so far, you can’t give them the money or gift cards, and you can’t ask them what they need, you really need to buy in bulk, whether it can be an experience software, the tool, hardware, whatever, what would you give them?

Peter Thompson:

And this terribly mundane, I’d buy a whole bunch of decent office chairs in bulk. Because when the COVID collapsed the global supply chain, getting a decent office chair in Barbados was an almost unattainable.

Luis:

There’s another industry to build in Barbados, office chair building.

Peter Thompson:

Because of course… Exactly. But it’s those sorts of mundane things which make the transition better. Because of course, they come to a lovely villa, but it’s all configured for people on holiday. But now it has to be configured for people living there full-time all the time and working. So-

Luis:

That’s a great point.

Peter Thompson:

Yeah, just the mundane stuff of making work comfortable.

Luis:

Okay. So, what about for yourself? What purchase has improved your work-life situation the most over the past six months, let’s say?

Peter Thompson:

Over the past six months. Well, I got an M1 MacBook Air.

Luis:

Oh, yes.

Peter Thompson:

The nicest computer I’ve ever had. Not at all close to the most money I’ve spent on a computer, but… And the fact is that before I got this, I was working mostly on a Windows machine. And I’m pretty agnostic as to what operating system I use, but this little machine has been just… It just works, and it’s fast, and it just does what I need it to do. It’s great.

Luis:

Yeah, definitely. I have to add my voice to that. Sadly, I’m not sponsored by Apple, but I try to get everyone of my colleagues on the Apple bandwagon. I know it’s an expensive bandwagon, but I was a gamer for most of my life, I always had a high powered Windows PC with lots of RAM, big CPU, the best graphics card, et cetera, so power was never the problem. But when I switched from my work of computer to a Mac, and more recently I got an M1 too, they are lovely machines. At the end of the day, the way you work is more important than the tools you use, but there was a nice bump in productivity. I won’t lie. The tools do matter.

Peter Thompson:

Oh, yes. And the thing about what I find is that I know it’s good when it just fades into the background, when nothing I do in my work day has to be working around the limitations of the tool I’m using.

Luis:

Exactly. Exactly. That’s a great point. So, let’s talk a bit about books. I can see that you have some books behind you. I am a huge fan of books. And I’m a fan of giving books. I would ask you, do you enjoy giving books? And if so, what is your most gifted book or books?

Peter Thompson:

Oh, I do give books mostly to people close to me, like my sons or my siblings or my wife. And there are some books that I know that I’ve given the same book to several people, because it just meant that much to me. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I know I have given to several people, essentially, because it’s about caring. I mean, the storyline it’s very personal, and it’s about mental health and relationships and so on, but the core learning in the book is that life is just so much richer when you actually care about what you’re doing.

Luis:

Yeah. I have to say, this is one of the books that has changed my life. And it’s lovely to hear someone mention it. Because I could feel deeply the argument that the character in the book, the writer, it’s essentially a biographical piece. And you know that time when you’re looking at a window and you’re seeing the outside, but then you shift your sight and you see your own reflection? I had that moment for myself when I was reading the book, where I understood perhaps for the first time in my life, that there was a trail of thought that was common to most people in the world. But there was something outside of that, that some people get and it really impacts their lives. And in the case of the book’s character, it frayed at the edges of insanity. And I could understand why I didn’t feel myself getting mad thankfully like him, but I could see, I could feel my brain being destroyed by that realization.

Luis:

So, thank you for reminding me about that book. I have it there, by the way. I have a shelf behind me, this is an audio program so people can’t see it, where I have the books that changed my life. And thank you for bringing that book back to me. If one more person reads that book, this podcast will have been worth it, all 143 episodes of it. So yeah, thank you for that. Anything else?

Peter Thompson:

I like reading history and I like listening to history podcasts and so on. And so, there are books of history that I read. I mean, a lot that I’ve been reading recently is stuff that’s very local, so Caribbean and Barbadian history. But yeah, that also I find to be pivotal in understanding what I’m trying to do in the here and now, is having a good sense of what happened before and why.

Luis:

Well, that brings me to the final question. This one is a bit of a longer setup, so please bear with me. But I actually don’t know how’s the dining situation in Barbados. Here in Portugal we’re pretty much good to go on any and all dining arrangements, but I have no idea. But let’s say that it’s fine to host a big dinner. And you will be doing that, you will be hosting a big dinner. In attendance, the top brass, the most important decision makers from the biggest technology companies in the planet are going to be attending. And there’s a roundtable on remote work and the future of work at that dinner.

Luis:

Now, here’s the twist. The dinner happens at the Chinese restaurant. So you, as the host, get to pick a message to put inside the Chinese fortune cookies. So what message are these people opening during their dinner?

Peter Thompson:

Ooh, that’s a hard one because of course, the universal possibility is so wide. But the message would have something to do with saying that geography should never be a constraint on creativity. Because geography as it exists in the world, it’s very much a historical political construct. It’s not simply where the mountains and where the oceans are, it’s where the privileged people are and the non-privileged people are. And the fact is that there is such a wealth of talent among people without privilege that does not get recognized or used by the wider community, that it’s really tragedy.

Peter Thompson:

And so we celebrate those… I mean, if you look at the USA, for example, and look at, or look at Silicon Valley, and see the enormous diversity that has come and created such innovation, such creativity, such wealth in Silicon Valley, well, those are the people who were lucky enough to get there. The fact is, they had that talent before they arrived in Silicon Valley. And there are many people around the world with their talent who didn’t have the opportunity to get to Silicon Valley. And we have to unlock that talent.

Luis:

All right. Well, that’s a wonderful message. And geography shouldn’t constrain creativity. And the explanation is fantastic. And I couldn’t have put it better, so thank you so much for that. And it’s been a pleasure having you on the show. So, I don’t want you to leave without telling people how they can continue the conversation with you, and of course, how can they find out more about going to work and live in Barbados?

Peter Thompson:

Well, Barbados is a wonderful place to live, to work, to play. It’s just such a wonderful mixture of people in amazingly benign environment. And so, I really want to invite everyone to come to Barbados. If you want to find out more, go to remoteworkbarbados.com, you’ll find ways to get in touch with me there, we can start a conversation. It’s really, really easy to apply for the visa. In fact, the main problem that I’ve run into is that people don’t believe it’s real, because they say, “It can’t be really this easy. I don’t want to be scammed. There must be more to it.” But yeah, it really is that easy.

Peter Thompson:

And the big distinction between Barbados and the traditional digital nomad hotspots is community. We are building an international community that I am convinced is going to be such that people in 10 years time will just… Everybody will want to come here. And it won’t be for the beaches or the sunshine, it’ll be because of the community we’ve built here with people from all around the world.

Luis:

All right, that’s a really good sell. I’m convinced I’m moving to Barbados. That’s it. That’s it. No, but I’m definitely going to visit with the wife. So, thank you so much again for being here. Thank you for the work and inspiration. I hope that a lot more people follow in your footsteps and more countries are pushed to follow into Barbados’ footsteps, because I do think that this is the way to move forward. We’re going to have a more diverse, more healthy, global workforce. And obviously, talent is not geographically distributed, or geographically constrained. So, there’s no reason why all the top engineers, let’s say, should happen to live in the same geographical location. That doesn’t make any sense. So, let’s get those talented people that are all around the world into jobs where they can make a difference. Thank you so much for being here.

Peter Thompson:

Thank you so much, Luis. It’s been wonderful talking to you.

Luis:

It was my pleasure. It was an absolute pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, this was Peter Thompson, the CEO and Founder at Remote Work (Barbados). And I was your host in the DistantJob Podcast, Luis, your podcast about building and leading awesome remote teams. See you next week.

Luis:

And so we close another episode of the DistantJob Podcast. And if you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners, and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me, and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well. You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners.

Luis:

Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to distantjob.com/blog/podcast, click on your favorite episode, any episode really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episode up so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form. And, of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country. Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent. And to help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate, 40% faster than the industry standard.

Luis:

And with that, I bid you adieu. See you next week on the next episode of the DistantJob Podcast.

More ways to listen:

Tourism was one of the most affected areas during the pandemic. Especially in those countries where the industry was one of the biggest sectors of its economy, they had to reinvent and develop new strategies to survive.

During this podcast episode, Peter Thompson shares how he transformed Barbados into a remote working hub in the middle of the pandemic. Instead of focusing all the efforts on tourism, the country is now a great destination for remote workers. Consequently, it has also helped citizens to get better professional opportunities.

Highlights:

  • How Barbados is becoming a top remote work destination
  • More about the social impact of remote work
  • Why building community matters
  • Tips for building a remote work community

Book Recommendations:

 

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