Local Productivity — Jamaica

touristbeach1.jpgIt is well established that the productivity levels we experience here in the Caribbean are lower than those of North America.

In a way, that’ s a good thing. After all, who wants to take a trip to a foreign country for the purposes of relaxing only to discover that the environment you are visiting is more stressful than the one you are leaving behind? If productivity is correlated with stress, then certainly one would want neither when visiting a Caribbean destination in order to take a break from the rat-race.

On the other hand, doing business in the region can be a problem.

From my experience, there are simply many more professionals at all positions who exhibit many of the behaviors of people who are swamped. Their email in-boxes are full. They forget appointments. Their cell phones can accept no new messages. They miss deadlines. Phone calls go unreturned. In short, they cannot deal with the volume of time demands that life throws at them.

This is considered quaint when the guy selling you a coconut forgets that you ordered from him 15 minutes ago and you have to wait. He grins and says “No Problem Man!”

It is a problem when he happens to be the driver of the bike who is supposed to deliver the critical engine part to the fire station that evening. He forgets, rendering the engine inoperable, causing the truck to be unavailable when you call 119 (not 911) in a panic that night and the truck takes an hour to arrive. As you lose the roof of your dream-house, it’s not so quaint.

One thing that I have gained from living here in Jamaica after a 20 year hiatus in New York, New Jersey and Florida is that productivity can easily be taken for granted, and no-one has figured out how to pass on this gift when it’s missing on a large scale.

In other words, it’s the difference in productivity between the life in the U.S. and my life in Jamaica that inspired me to create the 2Time system.