Cape Town ranked one of the world's best cities for remote working

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The future of work will never be the same and this puts Cape Town in a prime position. (iStock)
The future of work will never be the same and this puts Cape Town in a prime position. (iStock)
  • The future of work will never be the same and this puts Cape Town in a prime position to cater to the changing needs of a global workforce.
  • Targeting digital nomads as part of its overall destination marketing strategy will become part of the City of Cape Town's new international campaign.
  • Cape Town has made Big 7 Travel's 50 Best Places for Remote Working in 2021 list.

Cape Town has made the "Best cities for remote working" list on the travel website Big 7 Travel's 50 Best Places for Remote Working in 2021.

"Cape Town has long been a favourite with digital nomads, yet this is almost our best kept secret. The city was recently listed #42 on the 'Best cities for remote working' list, alongside [locations in] countries such as Indonesia, Germany and Argentina by Big 7 Travel. Big 7 Travel is a travel website, with an online community of 2.5 million people," Alderman James Vos, Mayoral Committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Targeting digital nomads as part of our overall destination marketing strategy will become part of the City’s new international campaign when the time is right and when it is safe to do so. Covid-19 has changed the way we work, where working from home has become part of our every day."

In his view, the future of work will never be the same, and this puts Cape Town in a prime position to cater to the changing needs of a global workforce. The City's Enterprise and Investment team has incorporated this position into its strategic marketing approach. The approach is based on Six Pillars, namely visit, live, work, study, play and invest in Cape Town.

"Given the challenging travel landscape created by the pandemic, we need to get smarter and innovate our hospitality sector by also focusing on remote workers so the sector can benefit from this growing remote work trend with Covid-19 protocols in place," says Vos.

"Some of the things that we encourage the hospitality sector to consider implementing, will be finding ways to attract Capetonians as well as others in our country, who usually work from home offices, to change their environment when it is safe to do so with Covid-19 protocols in place. "

These remote workers could, for example, work in spaces where there is access to a day-room, a pool, breakfast, lunch, parking and Wi-Fi. 

For the long-stay digital nomads, the sector could consider revised rates and "home away from home" type packaging, Vos says. The exchange rate also goes a long way towards making Cape Town an affordable luxury destination for international workers - without displacing local jobs - for up to 90 days as permitted by South African immigration regulations, according to Vos. Current visa-free countries include some of our key source markets such as Germany, UK, France, the US and more.

Flexible workspace

According to Paul Keursten, CEO and Co-Founder of South African flexible workspace solutions provider Workshop17, while technology has proven valuable to support and maintain collaboration and interaction in the required work from home period, long-term it will complement but not replace the need for a physical workplace. 

"Right now businesses are pulling at the future of office footprints. One is the need for more space to accommodate physical distancing protocols. The other is the need to reduce space with more people working remotely. In a post-vaccine world, physical distancing requirements will cease to exist, but the changes to the way people work are here to stay," says Keursten.

Workshop17 believes workplaces will always play a crucial role in maintaining cultural placemaking and binding teams together. Whether you are looking for better virtual office resources to support remote workers, flexible offices or offering diverse locations for employees, Workshop 17 is the one shop-stop for all your office solutions. 

Workshop17, for example, is a global finalist in the Global Startup Awards, a large independent start-up ecosystem competition. Workshop17's latest opening is its new The Bank facility in Rosebank, Johannesburg, which is scheduled for March. This will be the sixth addition to the company's existing footprint of central business district and suburban state-of-the-art facilities.

"The prolonged impact of Covid-19, in particular the need for social distancing, has caused entrepreneurs and corporates to look for new ways of working, as well as alternative workspaces that are flexible, aspirational and affordable. Companies are looking for solutions that fit the New Normal, where working from home is combined with coming to an office to meet, work together, build culture and be inspired," says Keursten.

For him, the office of the future is no longer a specific space in one building, but a combination of physical spaces and virtual office resources for meetings, planning and collaboration.

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