Insights on the hallmarks of comfortable remote work including internet speed, mobile services, shopping and co-working spaces are invaluable for every remote worker considering a new locale. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of quick tips for digital nomads and other remote workers considering Barbados.Mobile Services and Internet Speeds
Barbados has two major telecommunications providers: Digicel and Flow Barbados, from which handheld mobile devices as well as mobile service, internet and data can be purchased. These providers offer broadband speeds up to 600-1000mbps.
Cost of living
Barbados is a small island in the Caribbean and while its location offers year-round sunshine and beautiful beaches, this also means that many consumer goods must be imported over long distances - resulting in a slightly higher cost of living. Nevertheless, an elevated standard of living in Barbados is easily attainable, with excellent infrastructure, and many experiences of an equal quality to, and often surpassing, those of larger countries.
The island's major supermarket chains are Massy Supermarkets and A1 Supermarkets. Other smaller chains include Popular Discounts, Price Lo and Cherish Supermarket which offer greater savings but do tend to be on the busier so be sure to plan in advance when visiting. The use of reusable bags for groceries is strongly encouraged islandwide and you will have to pay extra for plastic bags. If you have forgotten your reusable bag, they are usually for sale near the checkout counter.
Remote workers know that the set up of their work space is crucial to focus, productivity and comfort. Most office supplies can be found on island, but may be a bit pricier than abroad. Devices including laptops, monitors, cellular phones, printers/scanners, etc. can be found in computer stores in all major malls, including Sheraton Mall and Lanterns at Hastings in the South, Limegrove Lifestyle Centre on the West Coast, and Dome Mall centrally located in Warrens, St.Michael. Good second-hand deals on electronic devices can also be online in local Facebook groups.
As for office appliances including desks and desk chairs, there are many furniture stores on island, including Courts, Standard Distributors and Dillonamberdane. You'll also find filing and storage cabinets for documents at Silverline Systems or at Sort Your Stuff, both centrally located in St. Michael.
Location, location, location
An important tip is to determine what area you want to live in well in advance. The South Coast bustles with an active social scene while the West Coast of the island is popular with celebrities and the jet set. The East, North, and Southeast coasts of Barbados are less densely populated and tend to be on the quieter side, but even in these areas, it’s best to have as much information on the property as possible, lest you find yourself next door to busy highway which may impact productivity. Read as many reviews if possible and don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as possible before making your decision.
A long stay at The Crane would eliminate many concerns as it is well insulated from outside noise. Resorts also have the benefit of amenities close to hand, such as reliable high-speed internet, restaurants, pools, cafes and more, not to mention room service and cleaning services.
But what about when you need a change of scenery? When we can once again socialise safely, you'll find reliable internet in the following places:
Public libraries will have free internet access, you just need to ask for the password from the Librarian or Library Assistant on hand. The Main Library can be found in Bridgetown on Harbour Road while the closest public library to The Crane Resort is located in Six Roads, St. Philip. It has air conditioning, a small play area for young children and opens on weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. but is closed for lunch at 1 p.m., reopening for the afternoon period from 2-6 p.m.
Most coffee shops will have internet access, available upon request. Local chains include The Coffee Bean and Italia Coffee House, mostly found in the busier parishes: St. Michael, Christ Church and St. Thomas. On the West Coast, Cafe Moya, Relish Epicurea, Always Summer and Cafe Bar Carizma are all located in Holetown and all offer internet access. On the South Coast, Country House Cafe and a few Coffee Bean locations (its Peronne Village branch is a hidden gem) can be found. The Crane Resort is home to The Village Cafe with outdoor seating, as well as several restaurants and resort-wide internet access.
Offices and co-working Spaces
Barbados is home to a Regus for when you need to rent an official office space or a conference room. Conference meetings can also be held at The Crane Resort through our Events team.
Manage your expectations
Due to the pandemic, there may be limitations on the opening hours of businesses and availability of some services and as the island's protocols can change quickly, it is best to stay up to date with local news channels including Nation News, Barbados Today and Loop News for updates.
Long-stay rental rates at The Crane start from US$3,500/month and are perfect for remote workers with options of private pools and spacious decks for outdoor living. For more information or to book now, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org.