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Westshore welcomes BC Public Service’s first fully mobile workspace

Westshore welcomes BC Public Service’s first fully mobile workspace

February 18, 2021 at 10:40 am  BC, News, Politics

BC Public Service employees who live in the Westshore and surrounding communities can now work closer to home at the new Westhills ShareSpace – a modern, spacious and flexible co-working office.

“Today, we’re opening the door to a new way of working for the BC Public Service,” said Premier John Horgan. “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.”

Premier Horgan was joined by Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, to celebrate the official opening of the office. The event included a tour of the office to see some of the unique design features and learn more about the new co-working space.

“We’re using technology and innovation to change the way we live and work,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “The new office model will help us keep pace with a growing mobile workforce, support collaboration and shared ideas in the BC Public Service and give people the flexibility they need and want.”

Over 2,000 B.C. government employees – more than 20% of the BC Public Service employees who work in Victoria – live in the Westshore area. Many have long advocated for an office space close to home due to the time and money they spend commuting each day. The new office will help ease commute times and support government’s goal to lower greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants by reducing congestion and traffic idling.

“This is an exciting day for many people living in the Westshore,” Dean said. “Commuting to Victoria for work takes precious time away from our families and creates harmful emissions. This beautiful office will give people the flexibility they need to balance their home and work lives and reduce environmental impacts.”

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.

“I’m so excited for this space to open, as it’ll make a huge difference on my commute time to work and will allow me to spend more time with my family,” said Su-Mei MacDonnell, B.C. government employee and Colwood resident. “Having the choice and flexibility to be able to work at this ShareSpace location is fantastic.”

The more than 930 square-metre (10,000 square-foot) office space is modern, 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. Innovative office technology is used throughout, such as interactive room and desk-booking apps, digital signage and audio-visual meeting systems. It also has electric-vehicle charging stations, bike storage, day-use lockers and showers that promote active and green transportation options. With brightly coloured felt pendant lighting, exposed natural B.C. wood elements, textured graphic and interactive walls, the space aims to inspire creativity and provide a collaborative, healthy and positive work environment.   

“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/life balance.”

Located at 1311 Lakepoint Way in Langford, the Westhills ShareSpace office was announced as part of a pilot in November 2019.

Quick Facts:

  • The opening process begins Monday, Feb. 22, 2021.
  • On average, a person commuting from the Westshore to downtown Victoria spends about one hour a day on the road.
  • Highways 1 and 14 are the major provincial arteries serving the Westshore.

Learn More:

For high-resolution images of the new workspace, visit: https://flic.kr/p/2kCjX6r

A backgrounder follows.

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