Province's new West Shore office space aims to cut commuter traffic to Victoria

Provincial government employees living in the West Shore now have the option of using a 10,000-square-foot office space in Langford so they don’t have to commute into Victoria.

The site at 1311 Lakepoint Way — dubbed Westhills ­ShareSpace — will give workers more time with their families while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by cutting time spent on the road, Premier John Horgan said Thursday.

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The West Shore has about 2,000 B.C. public service workers living there — about 20 per cent of all provincial government workers in Greater Victoria.

The space would normally accommodate 100 workers, but pandemic restrictions mean it can only accommodate 50.

The province is renting one floor in the building, which it has fitted out with shared and private rooms, and an outdoor workspace with lake views.

Features include interactive room- and desk-booking apps, digital signage and audio-visual meeting systems.

The space is available to all government employees, not just a single ministry, said Horgan, who hopes one benefit is that workers learn about what’s going on in other ministries. “I think it will lead to better decision-making, better recommendations to government to improve the lives of British Columbians.”

Horgan said he can see a ­similar set-up working on the Saanich Peninsula, in Nanaimo and in the Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Interior.

Langford Mayor Stew Young, who said he lobbied the province for 25 years to bring provincial government offices to the municipality, said he hopes the new office is 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.”

On average, a government worker commuting from the West Shore to downtown Victoria spends about an hour a day on the road, according to the province, although many downtown provincial workers are now working remotely.

The new space has electric-vehicle charging stations, bike storage, lockers and showers.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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