Tag Archives: remote work

Working From Home? Work From The Beach in Barbados With This Year Long Visa.

As we speak to more and more tech entrepreneurs and developers across Canada, we see that most of them are now allowed to work from home at least until January 1st, 2021 or some even as far out as mid summer 2021.

So this could be your one time chance to continue working but instead of -20C temperatures and snow, experience beaches and maybe even do some surfing?

One Year Beach Visa

Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados has launched a Barbados Welcome Stamp, one-year remote working visa, that gives Canadian a right to live as well as work in Barbados for up to one year.

The officials in Barbados have started accepting applications for this year long visa and you can use their portal to apply now. They promise 72 hour turn around to let you know if you are accepted or not.

Good thing to know that you will not be liable to pay Barbados Income Tax while working remotely.

Imagine now you can do your Zoom calls from a real beach, instead of just selecting it as your background.

Barbados Visa Restrictions

You do need to be making over $67,000 Canadian dollars a year, and you will need to pay $2,700 Canadian dollars for single visa application or $4,000 Canadian for a family application.

You will also need to make sure you have a valid health insurance while in Barbados. Your province insurance won’t cover it, and most private insurances only cover about a month or less. So you might need to spend few thousand dollars on a third party health insurance.

Covid19 in Barbados

If you are worried about Covid19 in Barbados – do not be, they only had 106 cases so far.

Fast Internet

Barbados government also boasts about the fastest fibre internet and mobile services in the Caribbean. They also say housing can be found for around $1,300 Canadian a month.

Things to Keep in Mind – Travel Advisory

Do keep in mind that if you do go, coming back to Canada, will put you into 14 day quarantine. Also if cases in Canada do increase, air carriers might cut the flights from Barbados to Canada.

Such things in Barbados are a different in Canada: harsh penalties for drug possession including weed, you are not allowed to wear camouflage clothing and sex acts between members of the same sex are illegal over there.

If you do decide to go to Barbados, you will need to get tested for Covid19 and show that at the airport before you fly as well as to immigration officials over there.

Barbados’ officials said that even though program just opened up, they have a large number of people applying from Alberta and Quebec.

Canadians Take on Barbados

We have asked William Ottley, Web System Administrator in Toronto area, who have spent 4 years living and working in Barbados, what he thinks about Barbados.

Internet? At the time I was there the Internet was OK. I had no issues.

How safe was it? i had no issues or fears living down there. there were/are? a few rough places, not many, so just don’t go to those areas. (and i’m not even talking guns)..

Expensive? It all depends on what you want to experience with the money you get from work. if you want to explore the island and drink it all in right away, well that’s $$$, right? but if you go down, and take it real slow, learn the lay of the land, you do ok. by then you will learn the “tourist” areas, and the “non-tourist” areas. where the cheaper stuff is.

Boring? I was never bored. I left after 4 years, because I missed family. otherwise I would have stayed down there..

avatar

William Ottley

Web System Administrator in Toronto area

Final Thoughts

So if you are a software developer or tech professional in Canada, making over $67k a year, this 1 year visa is something to definitely ponder about.

If you consider that a 2 bedroom rent costs $3,000 in Toronto, you can pay half that and live on the beach while continuing to work. Send a postcard or post on instagram and make your friends jealous – you are on the beach while your friends and colleagues suffer in the -20C weather shoveling their driveways.

Are you considering the move? Why or why not?

Working From Home? Check Out These 5 Tech Tips

Most of us in Canada and the US are now on lockdown. Our employers require us to work from home for the next few weeks or so.

Here are five tech tips for you to check out to improve your collaboration when dealing with clients and colleagues.

Tip 1 – Use Your Webcam Wisely

We all use video calls now to speak with our colleagues, our boss and even our clients. Make sure to have light source at your face and to put your chin up. Make sure your head and your shoulders are in the shot. Focus your camera at your eye level , so if use a laptop with a webcam, make sure to put it up on a book or something to raise the webcam to eye level.

Tip 2 – Do Not Be Lagging

We all love the convenience of the wireless internet. But the problem with Wifi is that it could be slow, your calls could drop due to dropped signal and increased latency. To make sure you are not lagging – try connecting with ethernet cable instead directly from your computer / laptop into your router or switch. If cabling is not possible, try moving your router to the center of your house for better performance.

Tip 3 – Update Your Contact Info

You are working from home that usually means you do not have access to your phone landline at the office. Make sure to update your email signature and include the best way to reach you. Is it google hangout? or your cell phone? or maybe it is Skype? Whatever it is – go to your signature setting and update your contact info.

Tip 4 – Prepare Your Laptop

When you are on a video call, try to clean up your desktop a bit. Move over any questionable files or graphics away from desktop. Turn off those notifications as well, you do not want a popup email reply from your friend titled: “How much I hate my boss… ” to appear when you are doing a company’s morning meeting. Just go to Systems – Notifications – and turn those notifications off while you are on a call. Oh and notify your spouse that you will be on call and make sure that you are not disturbed during that time.

Tip 5 – Track Your Time

You want to keep track of time to make sure you stay productive and focused. You can use time management apps like Clockify or you might just want to write down your tasks on a piece of paper and dedicate specific amount of time to it. After say 2 hours , you may want to take 5 minute break, walk around your house or make a cup of coffee as a reward for finishing your task.

Remote Work? This State Will Pay You $10k To Work From Home There

Working from home has countless benefits such as reduced commute time, increased productivity and fewer sick days.

But maybe you need a bit more incentive to start working from home? Well now, State of Vermont desperate to attract young people to work in the state will pay you $10k cool Gs if you relocate there.

Why you may ask such a beautiful state such as Vermont is so desperate? Well easy – because young people are leaving the state in droves. As per recent US Census Bureau numbers report showed that Vermont’s median age is 42.8. That means half of Vermonters are older than 42.8 and half younger. As recently as 1990 Vermont’s median age was just under 33 years.

AdrienBe / Pixabay

So back to remote work – amazing strategy if we might say. Instead of approaching employers companies to relocate there, Vermont is getting employees to relocate there while continuing to work for their HQ companies in New York or California or Texas. This way they can ensure they can continue taxing those young professionals for their tax coffers.

The way New Remote Worker Grant Program in Vermont works is pretty simple:

  •  be a full-time employee of a business “with its domicile or primary place of business” outside Vermont
  • perform “the majority of…employment duties remotely from a home office or a co-working space located in the state”
  • become a full-time resident of Vermont after January 1, 2019

So basically that means you can not just open a new business or start a startup neither can you work as a consultant , etc. You have to be permanently full employed.

Mariamichelle / Pixabay

Some users went on twitter to say that $10k is not enough to relocate to Vermont

You are wondering of course, if you are Canadian and live in Montreal for example (mere one hour from Vermont border) – can you go and live and work there and collect your $10k? Well, the program states that anyone out of state can apply. Meaning anyone in the world can apply. The only people who are disqualified are Vermonters who already live there.

Before you do though, make sure you go through the following disadvantages of living in Vermont as pointed out by Mike Block on Quora:

  • Winter – Yes, the winter sports are great, but it comes at a price. Winter starts around October and lasts through May. That’s a LONG time to be cold. It even got down to -30F at my house last year. Know what the surface temp on Mars is at noon? It’s ONLY -20F!!! IT WAS 10 DEGREES COLDER AT MY HOUSE THAN IT WAS ON MARS!!
  • Cost – It’s crazy expensive to live here. The gas prices rival NYC, the food prices are HIGHER than in NYC. The cost of living index puts us at 41 out of 50. That’s pretty high for a small, rural, agrarian state.
  • Commuting – you need to drive everywhere. There’s no public transit to speak of. I almost miss the NYC subway because despite the smell, crowd, noise and smell (did I mention smell?), at least I got to read for an hour each way. I can’t do that in the car.
  • People – There’s not really a con here, but some Vermonters can be… um… mercurial? One thing I noticed is that they tend to use landmarks when they give directions. “You go to the bottom of this hill, then make a left at the stand of poplar trees. Go half a mile past the old Smith farm, and make a left at the sugar shack.” Meanwhile, you’re from Pittsburgh and this is the first time you’ve seen trees. WTF, guys?!?
  • Cars – This state EATS cars. Because of the extreme winters, the roads are covered in brine. You NEED rustproofing on your car, or Vermont will slowly chew it up.
  • Space – There are very few people in a lot of space. Everything is at least half an hour away from everything else in this state. Yes, other states have this much worse (I’m looking at you, Montana), but it always seems like a long drive to get anywhere.
  • Wood rot – Water is an abundant resource here. We will never have a drought, at least not where I live. Anything made of wood will need to be treated or rebuilt every 20 years or so. I have tons of work to do on my house to make sure it doesn’t just crumble apart.
  • Culture – There are maybe 8 museums in the whole state. I used to go to museums a lot in NYC. I’ve memorized most of the exhibits in Vermont already.
  • Mud season – Between April and sometime in May, we have “mud season”. There are a LOT of dirt roads in Vermont. They become bogs when the snow melts. A common joke is: Bill is walking down his dirt road when he comes upon Frank’s hat in the middle of the road. He lifts it up and see Frank’s head under it. He says, “Frank, you want me to pull you out of the mud?” “Naw, I’m fine, Bill. I have a good, solid horse under me.”
  • You’re not weird – No matter who you are, where you’re from, what line of work you’re in, what religion you are, what schools you attended, how many Barbie heads you have in the box under your bed, you’re not weird. Vermont is built on weird. Weird is normal here. No one is special because we all are. Keep Vermont Weird