Many B.C. government employees who live in the West Shore won’t have to commute to downtown Victoria any longer, as the province announces its first mobile shared office space.
The new facility, Langford’s Westhills Sharespace, will be a dedicated space for up to 50 people across all ministries of government, however, that number will expand to 100 once public health restrictions are lifted.
B.C. Premier John Horgan indicated the space will help benefit a portion of the approximately 20 per cent of BC public service employees – around 2,000 people – who live in the West Shore.
The Premier highlights the facility will allow government workers to work closer to home and avoid the commute into downtown Victoria.
“I’m very pleased we are able to achieve this today,” Premier John Horgan said. “It will be any member of the BC public service can access this space, work from here, collaborate with colleagues in their own ministries or in other ministries.”
“This is great news,” Langford Mayor Stew Young said, adding that he hopes to see more workspaces located closer to home for the numerous government workers in Langford. “Great for the community of Langford. Great for people who have to get in their cars and go down to Victoria all the time.”
According to the Downtown Victoria Business Association, demand from the tech sector for office space is keeping the vacancy rates low in the core area.
Ministry of Health employee, Su-Mei MacDonell, said she faces a twice-daily 35-minute commute from her home in Royal Bay to downtown Victoria.
“I’m super excited,” MacDonell said. “I’ve been waiting for this for the shared space to be open for a while. And it’s nice to see the finish line. And the finished product.”
MacDonell, like others, is looking forward to the added flexibility of the Langford location.
“It means more time with my family,” MacDonell said. “It means more time to put dinner on the table. To get lunches made. Perhaps even pick up an extra-curricular for one of the kids. It’s huge.”
Located at 1311 Lakepoint Way in Langford, the Westhills ShareSpace office was announced as part of a pilot in November 2019.
The province says the more than 930-square-metre (10,000 square-foot) office space is green and fully accessible. It includes a mix of co-working and private rooms, natural light with floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor patio and workspace with views of Langford Lake.It also has electric-vehicle charging stations, bike storage, day-use lockers and showers that promote active and green transportation options.
The new shared office space cost approximately $3 million. It’s the first of its kind in B.C., and Horgan says the pilot will demonstrate to other municipalities and cities that shared spaces can be created and used to help families and the environment.
The Langford space officially opens Monday, February 22, however, the province has yet to release which employees will get to use the space.
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