( ENSPIRE Business ) WorkMango Helps Others Take a Work-cation in Barbados, Antigua, and Barbuda
ENSPIRE Contributor: Abby Ladner
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and businesses shift to remote operation, more and more people have had to transform their homes into their workplaces. With no more separation between home and the office, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is more difficult than ever. Now, WorkMango is helping people restore that balance by turning work from home into work from paradise.
WorkMango is a relocation and remote working platform that helps members take their work with them to the Caribbean islands of Barbados and Antigua. With their membership program, WorkMango helps people make the move to the location of their choice, where they can stay for months at a time. WorkMango does all the hard work, from finding the best local schools for your children to managing your property back home. Read the interview below with WorkMango founder Ronald Ndoro Mind to learn more.
What inspired you to start WorkMango?
WorkMango.com was conceived in May and launched in October during the global pandemic of 2020 on the realization that many people would now have to work from home going forward. This smart concierge platform connects people and facilitates remote working arrangements in Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados and is changing the way people work by offering a VIP experience to relocate stress-free. The WorkMango community is a small group of people looking to thrive in a world beleaguered by existential challenges, interested in finding ways to more than exist.
I moved to the Island of Antigua and Barbuda to live in March 2020. It was this move that prompted me to come up with WorkMango.com to help facilitate anyone with an interest in relocating and working remotely. It was through my other work commitments in London, New York, and Africa that it became obvious and apparent that living in Antigua and Barbuda or Barbados while working in another city is more than possible. It was this very process of working in paradise that led to the realization that many other people could benefit from such a transition. I have a much better work-life balance since moving to Antigua and Barbuda. It feels like something worth sharing.
Another influence is that during the pandemic, many Western citizens had access to stimulus packages of one kind or another—the US and many European countries offer welfare to help support their citizens. In places like Antigua or Barbados, the reserves and opportunities are minimal, and a majority of the population is reliant on tourism. So, as a result, WorkMango assists by driving more traffic to these islands to help sustain their economies.
I’d love to hear more about your journey. What did you do before creating WorkMango, and how did that lead you to where you are today?
It’s a bit of a journey, to be honest. I was a London-based serial entrepreneur until my recent move. I am a UCL and College of Law graduate, and, over the past twenty years, I have built a large resume of start-ups, venue operation, and event management companies, along with an immeasurable amount of entrepreneurial experience and expertise.
I started my career with The Financial Times, had a short legal stint at Slaughter & May, and helped to set up and exit numerous highly successful online portals. I built up an impressive reputation as a connector and curator, having founded three highly desirable private member’s club: Apartment 58 in 2011, in 2013, LIBRARY, right in the heart of London’s Covent Garden, and, in 2019, ARBORETUM on Charing Cross Rd. Through my years of experience, I have worked with global luxury brands, musicians, artists, celebrities, and even brought the longest-running show in the world, Crazy Horse, to London.
Alongside my more creative roles, I have always maintained key roles in charitable endeavors, first, as the son of the chair and founder Roseline of Ndoro Children’s Charities, which focuses on rebuilding and funding small communities in Africa with an initial focus on Zimbabwe. I am also a Director of Ibex Earth, an organization committed to developing projects and raising awareness of threatened ecosystems and habitats. I have previously sat on the development board for the Black Cultural Archives, the UK’s first dedicated Black heritage center, focused on being the most complete reference point for what it means to be black in Britain as well as the Africa Centre in the UK.
I am currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at London South Bank University. This role includes 1-2-1 student mentoring sessions and guest lectures as well as curating a quarterly series of talks with guest speakers on “Social Justice and Global Responsibility.”
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is developing a healthy work-life balance—how does WorkMango help solve this problem?
WorkMango is a drive to transform “work from home” into “work from paradise” because, why work from home—when you can work from paradise? If all you need is decent wifi to work remotely, why not do that while integrating elements of leisure that let you unwind, relax, and be more productive? A “Workation,” which is the ability to work while away from the office from a place where people tend to go on holiday—thus combining work and vacation, blending leisure time with productive time.
With many businesses in 2021 still working remotely and not planning to get back into the office until after summer 2021, there is an opportunity, not just now but going forward to get into a place where there is a better work-life balance for employees. Enabling people to be more productive and to live a more fulfilling life. Allowing them to work to live rather than living to work. Companies focused on employee well-being will embrace this new movement and trend as a way to increase long-term productivity, retention, and loyalty.
Cultural shifts and technology make it all possible, from direct flights to laptops, collaboration tools, project management software, messaging and teleconferencing platforms, and all kinds of time-tracking gizmos that aid remote work. Using real examples, I know people who through WorkMango.com wake up in Antigua at 6 a.m. and work till 2 p.m., which is 6/7 p.m. UK time, and then, from 2 p.m. onwards, they are at the beach or in a restaurant until about 10 p.m., and then again, this allows a good work-life balance, and it is quite healthy, especially with the good weather and time saved commuting.
You’ve had your own experience with relocating while working from home—what are some of the challenges you faced that WorkMango members won’t have to deal with?
Well, we do all the heavy lifting so members don’t have to. The biggest challenges were really trying to understand how everything works, from converting money, finding accommodation, renting a car, to finding out how the health system works and how to find the best practitioners. And because I have done it myself—and a lot more extensive research since—we know where the best of everything is for the best value on the islands.
How does WorkMango help foster a sense of community among members, and what are the benefits of being part of that community?
Being a WorkMango member means we are introducing you to like-minded people from the moment you arrive. We have a golf group that plays weekly, a hiking group that hikes every 2 weeks, and we host other ad hoc events as and when possible. There have been fewer activities due to the pandemic, but our online platform enables members to interact with each other before meeting face to face.
How do you help promote safe travel during the pandemic?
We ask all our members to adhere to all safety guidelines and policies as advised at the point of travel. Luckily, we do not have to set the protocol—our job is to ensure it is followed and our guidance for members mirrors that of the island at the time of arrival or that of the nation on departure to ensure consistency.