Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, it essentially launched a remote working experience across the world, untethered to their traditional office chair. This article from Financial Times lists that about one in 16 people employed in the UK (1.9m workers) intend to work from abroad for at least part of this year, according to a survey by PagoFX, an international payments platform. Additionally, almost half of all respondents also said they could do their job just as well from another country. That’s why as a popular tourist destination, it’s time for Belize to start spending our marketing dollars on the ultimate repeat visitor: the remote worker.
In Belize, we’ve got plenty of strengths to pull on, including high internet speeds, a growing digital nomad community, English being our first language and an affordable cost of living. In a recent article by Nick Green, around 52% of UK staff recently said they had enjoyed a better work-life balance in the lockdown months, something that came as a revelation to 40% of staff, who had not realized how bad things had been beforehand. As a result, if employers cannot meet their needs, more than one-third of workers are also mooting a career change.
Let’s face it: if you can have the opportunity of sitting on a deck chair with sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea and your computer on your lap, why wouldn’t you take it?
For some, it’s shown enough perks to become more permanent – like jetting off to another country to enjoy a different four walls. And if you’re looking for happy people, you can find them in Belize. Although, it’s hard to be made when your work day commute means trekking through Placencia Village on bicycle with your laptop in tow. Picture it: you tuck in under a sheltered picnic table at Brewed Awakenings, shake off whatever sand worked its way into your flip-flops, and wait patiently for your Banana-Seaweed Smoothie. Not too shabby for a 9-5 setting, eh?
Firstly, prioritize internet accessibility and reliability. In October 2019, Ookla (the global leader in internet testing, data and analysis) gave Digi’s fiber network third in rank for the Caribbean in download speeds. After all, Digi’s fiber-optic network spans the entire country; you should have no trouble gaining online access.
Next, cost of living, which can be very affordable in Belize. You can get by comfortably on USD$1,500/month. Although if you enjoy eating out and the like, you can spend more depending on your lifestyle.
One thing is for certain: remote work is here to stay. And as more people — of varying incomes — embrace the freedom to live and work however they please, you can carve your own path of working-from-home, like working-from-Belize.