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.
Premier John Horgan says the new Westhills ShareSpace is an opportunity for government employees to plug into a modern office close to home.
Horgan says approximately 20 per cent of BC Public Service employees – around 2,000 people – who work in downtown Victoria live in the West Shore. The province says there are many benefits to removing the long commute for these workers.
“Having the option to work and collaborate in a bright, open and innovative workspace near home will be a game-changer for many people – giving them more time with their families, cutting commute times and helping reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Horgan.
Horgan says although health officials are asking everyone to stay home and apart amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the province needs to plan for when things go back to normal.
During COVID-19, the occupancy of the office has been reduced from 100 to 50 people to ensure physical distancing and worker safety. A COVID-19 safety plan, including behavioural and wayfinding signage, is in place, per the direction and orders of the provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC.
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.
“This is an exciting day for Langford and employees of the provincial government who live in the Westshore,” said Stew Young, mayor of Langford.
“For over 25 years, I have been advocating for government offices in Langford. My hope is this office will be the first of many. Having this hub in Langford will allow residents to work close to home, get out of traffic, and spend more time with their families, creating a better work and life balance.”
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.