Take the guesswork out of hybrid occupancy planning

As companies move to hybrid workplace settings which see attendance vary dramatically across the week, it’s become more complicated to define the quantity and types of office space needed to support employees. 

XY Sense removes the guesswork from applying outdated allocations and ratios, helping you create productive spaces that your teams will love. 

Feel empowered to make smarter decisions and save significant amounts of money from poorly utilized spaces. Our data has your back as your transition to your new normal!

How can XY Sense support hybrid occupancy planning in your workplace?

Understand your 'new normal' workplace utilization

Monitor daily & weekly utilization

Understand how many people are in attendance at your workplace on a given floor, location or day. 

Benchmark across time to understand your new utilization averages to inform hybrid workplace planning and de-risk any downsizing.

Understand what spaces your team needs

Analyze supply vs. demand of spaces

Explore ‘hot and ‘cold’ zones across your workplace to understand the most popular configurations of space for your team.

Support the new hybrid work day with the right mix of desks, meeting rooms and social settings. 

Understand potential workplace friction points and inform future fit outs.

Use data to respond to space requests

Optimize team space allocations & ratios

Benchmark utilization across time to support hybrid occupancy planning for specific teams and neighborhoods. 

Understand when specific teams will reach capacity, deliver more accurate forecasting of space needs for hybrid teams based on actual utilization.

Rich data capture supports better collaboration on space planning with business leaders.

Futureproof your corporate real estate strategy

Forecast utilization
& space demand

Understand utilization performance at a floor, building and portfolio level. Simply set a target utilization rate for specific assets and monitor projected vs. actual utilization to future proof your real estate strategy. 

De-risk future capital works or leasing negotiations with highly accurate occupancy and space utilization data from your own office portfolio. 

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advanced sensor

Powered by the latest developments in machine learning, XY Sense delivers the ultimate privacy-preserving sensor for workplace teams. Featuring enormous sensor coverage, live data feeds, advanced AI capabilities and cost-effective install options, XY Sense helps workplace teams maximize ROI from a sensor investment.

Download our Occupancy
Planning Solution Brief

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Occupancy Planning FAQs

Have questions about occupancy planning and the the best approach to developing a robust occupancy plan? Explore the FAQs below to learn more. 

Workplace occupancy planning analyzes how an office is utilized and optimizes it to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. Workplace occupancy planning aims to ensure that office space is used to support the organization’s goals and objectives while also providing a safe and comfortable work environment for employees.

The foundations for modern, data-driven occupancy planning initiatives are sensor and analytics systems that monitor employee usage patterns. Workplace analytics solutions are software platforms or tools that provide organizations with data and insights about their workplace and workforce. These solutions typically leverage data from various sources, including entry sensors and area sensors, to provide a holistic view of how the workplace is used and how employees interact. Some common features and capabilities of workplace analytics solutions include:

  • Space utilization analysis: This involves collecting data on how employees are using different areas of the workplace, including workstations, meeting rooms, and common areas.
  • Occupancy tracking: This involves tracking the number of people present in the workplace at any given time and their locations and movement patterns.
  • Workplace optimization: This involves using data and insights to make changes to the workplace to improve productivity, efficiency, and employee experience.
  • Real-time dashboards and reporting: Real-time data and insights through customizable dashboards and reports enable organizations to make data-driven decisions in real time.

Workplace analytics platforms can also help organizations improve the overall experience for occupants – including employees, customers, and visitors. Typical “power users” of workplace analytics software are occupancy or real estate teams, but the data are also used and valued by LOB and team leaders across an organization. 

Read more about occupancy sensors and workplace analytics in this blog post

Occupancy planning processes vary by company based on their needs and operating approaches. Most include most or all of the following activities:

  • Space planning: Analyzing how office space is used and developing plans to optimize its utilization. This can include strategies such as open office layouts, hot desking, or flexible work arrangements.
  • Capacity planning: Determining the maximum number of employees that can safely and comfortably occupy a given space based on social distancing guidelines, ventilation, and workplace ergonomics.
  • Move planning: Managing the logistics of moving employees and equipment between different office spaces, such as during a relocation or renovation.
  • Workplace analytics: Collecting and analyzing data on how office space is used, such as occupancy levels, movement patterns, and space utilization. This data can inform decisions about workplace design and management.
  • Workplace design: Designing safe, functional, and comfortable offices for employees. This can include lighting, acoustics, ergonomics, sustainability, and amenities to make spaces more exciting and engaging. 

Download our solutions brief on occupancy planning.

Occupancy planning can help you reduce business costs in several ways, including:

  • Optimizing space utilization: By analyzing how your office space is being used and identifying areas of inefficiency or underutilization, you can make informed decisions about how to optimize your space. This may include consolidating workspaces, reducing the overall space you lease or own, or implementing flexible work arrangements.
  • Reducing real estate expenses: By optimizing your space utilization, you can reduce your real estate expenses, such as rent, utilities, and maintenance costs. This can be especially important if you want to downsize your office space or renegotiate your lease.
  • Avoiding equipment purchases: Many organizations are challenged by requests for equipment that are not needed. For example, a team request for more monitors might be mitigated by developing workstations shared by multiple departments. 
  • Improving energy efficiency: By optimizing your space utilization, you may also be able to reduce your energy consumption and costs. This can include strategies such as implementing energy-efficient lighting, HVAC systems, and other sustainable practices.
  • Enhancing productivity: By designing your office space in a way that supports employee productivity and well-being, you can reduce the costs associated with absenteeism, turnover, and reduced productivity. This can include considerations such as workplace ergonomics, lighting, and acoustics.
  • Validating space types: Many companies change the amount and configuration of space types. A great example is increasing the number of informal collaboration spaces for small one-to-one meetings instead of building additional conference rooms. 

Read our content on reducing real estate costs with occupancy analytics

Occupancy planning can help create a more inviting and productive environment for employees: 

  • Optimize Space Utilization: Through occupancy planning, you can analyze how your office space is being used and identify underutilized and overutilized areas. Area sensor and entry sensor data are ideal for this use case because they capture overall occupancy and actual usage of resources in real time. This can help you redesign your office space to create a more inviting and productive environment for your employees. For instance, you can identify areas that can be converted into collaborative spaces, quiet work areas, or private meeting rooms.
  • Enhance Ergonomics: Effective occupancy planning can help you create a more ergonomic workspace, which can help employees feel more comfortable and productive while at work. Ergonomic considerations such as proper lighting, desk height, chair adjustability, and adequate workspace can help reduce discomfort and minimize work-related injuries.
  • Improve Technology Infrastructure: Occupancy planning can help you identify the technology needs of your employees and improve your technology infrastructure. You can ensure that employees can access reliable internet connectivity, the necessary hardware and software, and ergonomic accessories such as mouse, keyboard, and monitor to support their work.
  • Foster Collaboration: Occupancy planning can help you design your office space to facilitate employee collaboration. This can include creating open work areas, breakout rooms, and other collaborative spaces that encourage teamwork and information-sharing.
  • Support Employee Wellness: By designing your office space to prioritize employee wellness, you can create a more inviting and productive environment for your employees. This can include incorporating natural light, adding indoor plants, providing access to healthy food, and promoting physical activity.

Learn more about workplace analytics platforms and how they can power your occupancy planning.

Occupancy planning in an office with hybrid work policies can present unique business challenges. The rise of remote work due to the pandemic has forced many businesses to adopt hybrid work policies to balance in-office work with remote work arrangements. These hybrid policies have presented several challenges.

One of the main challenges is finding ways to optimize space utilization in the office. With a hybrid work policy, employees may only be in the office a few days a week, which can lead to uneven demand for office space. Businesses need to ensure that office space is optimized while accommodating remote employees.

Another challenge is maintaining communication and collaboration among team members. With employees working remotely and coming to the office on different days, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of collaboration and teamwork. Businesses must ensure that their occupancy planning strategies prioritize communication and collaboration among employees, regardless of physical location.

Providing the necessary technology infrastructure is also a challenge. With employees working remotely and in the office, businesses need to ensure they have the necessary technology infrastructure to support remote and in-office work. This includes providing employees with access to reliable internet connectivity, hardware, and software necessary to perform their job duties, regardless of their physical location.

Ensuring employee safety and well-being is another challenge. With employees coming and going from the office, businesses need to ensure adequate safety measures to protect their employees’ health and well-being. This includes ensuring that office spaces are cleaned and sanitized regularly, providing adequate ventilation, and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Finally, maintaining company culture can be challenging with a hybrid work policy. With employees working both remotely and in the office, it can be challenging to maintain a strong company culture and a sense of community among team members. Businesses must find ways to foster a strong company culture, even when employees are not physically present in the office.

Download our Roadmap for Back to the Office now. 

Workplace occupancy sensors and analytics are essential for effective occupancy planning because they provide real-time data and insights into how office spaces are utilized. This information can help businesses make informed decisions about optimizing their office spaces, improving employee productivity, and reducing costs. Here are some specific reasons why workplace occupancy sensors and analytics are essential for effective occupancy planning:

  • Real-time data: Workplace occupancy sensors can provide businesses with real-time data on how many people are in a particular office area at any given time. This information can be used to adjust temperature, lighting, and other environmental factors to improve employee comfort and productivity.
  • Utilization insights: Workplace occupancy analytics can provide insights into how office spaces are being utilized, including which areas are most frequently used and which are underutilized. This information can be used to optimize office space usage and reduce unnecessary costs.
  • Employee productivity: Workplace occupancy analytics can help businesses identify areas of the office that are causing distractions or hindering productivity. For example, if a particular office area is consistently crowded and noisy, it may affect employee productivity. By identifying these issues, businesses can adjust to improve the work environment and increase productivity.
  • Cost savings: Workplace occupancy analytics can help businesses identify areas of the office that are underutilized and may be creating unnecessary expenses, such as utilities and maintenance costs. Businesses can reduce costs and improve their bottom lines by optimizing office space usage.
  • Environmental considerations: Many companies have made commitments to reduce their environmental impact. Workplace occupancy analytics can identify underutilized areas that are driving wholly unnecessary carbon emissions associated with heating, cooling, and lighting. Globally, billions of pounds of carbon are emitted every year heating and cooling underutilized commercial real estate.
Learn more about area sensors and entry sensors on this webage. 

Computer vision occupancy sensors are more valuable for occupancy planning than other sensors. First, computer vision sensors provide more accurate and detailed information on people’s movements and location within a space. For example, XY Sense Sensors provide a high accurate count of the number of people in a space as well as their locations (within 1 sf) and the resources they are using. This can help companies better understand how their office space is used and identify areas for improvement. Many other types of sensors have lower precision, so companies may know a space is occupied but not how exactly how many people are in a space or which resources they are using.

The resource utilization data can be very helpful because it helps companies understand their equipment needs and can help reduce expenditures on items like workstations and second screens. 

Additionally, computer vision sensors can cover larger areas than other sensors, meaning fewer sensors are needed to cover a given space. This can help reduce installation and maintenance costs. For example, XY Sense Sensors have a range of approximately 1000 square feet (95 square meters) or the space occupied by 20 desks. By contrast infrared sensors have a range of only about half that space.

Additionally, quality computer vision sensors also offer unsurpassed security and privacy protections. This is important to safeguard company information, create a positive work environment, and comply with the various national and regional regulations regarding data privacy. For example, XY Sense Area Sensors don’t store or transmit any images of the workspace they monitor. Instead, they leverage edge processing, which means that they analyze all data collected within the sensor and transmit only the X and Y coordinates of each individual in a space. That’s why we call ourselves XY Sense! 

Finally, computer vision area sensors provide a higher return on investment. Additionally, because they are based on software and machine learning algorithms, they can be easily updated and improved over time without requiring hardware upgrades.

To get a richer understanding of your options see this comparison of XY Sense versus competitive area sensors

Workplace occupancy sensors and analytics are essential for effective occupancy planning because they provide real-time data and insights into how office spaces are utilized. This information can help businesses make informed decisions about optimizing their office space, improving employee productivity, and reducing costs. Here are some specific reasons why workplace occupancy sensors and analytics are essential for effective occupancy planning:

There are several important occupancy analytics metrics to consider in workplace occupancy planning. These include:

  • Occupancy rates: This refers to the percentage of available space used at any given time. Monitoring occupancy rates can help you optimize your space usage and identify areas of underutilization.
  • Utilization rates: This refers to the percentage of time a particular space is used during business hours. This metric can help you identify which spaces are in high demand and which are not being used effectively.
  • Peak usage times: Identifying the times of day or week when occupancy and utilization rates are highest can help you optimize your space usage and plan for staffing and resource needs.
  • Space allocation: Tracking which departments or teams are using which spaces can help you optimize your office layout and improve collaboration.

By monitoring these metrics, workplace experience planners can gain insights into how their space is used and make data-driven decisions to optimize the workplace for employees.

Learn more about specific workplace challenges and how to use occupancy analytics to solve them. 

When choosing a workplace analytics solution to support occupancy planning, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Accuracy: The accuracy of the solution is critical in ensuring that the data collected is reliable and can be used for decision-making. Look for a solution that uses reliable and accurate sensors and algorithms to ensure accurate data collection. We recommend and use computer vision sensors because of their superior accuracy. XY Sense offers superior accuracy (<1ft) with our exclusive Area Sensors
  • Range: Broader coverage area per sensor means fewer sensors – and lower installation and maintenance costs. For example, XY Sense offers wide-area sensors covering 1000 square feet (95 square meters) versus competitors with a range of only about half that figure. 
  • Sustainability: Some systems are better at limiting materials usage and e-waste. Wide-area sensors cover a greater office footprint than competitor sensors – 1,000 sq ft, or the area for about 20 desks. That means fewer sensors and wiring are necessary. Daisy-chain installation methodology pioneered by XY Sense in our SenseLink solution dramatically reduces wiring and equipment costs for every installation – including up to 90% less cabling. Further, battery-free sensors mean reduced toxic e-waste. For a 20,000-headcount organization, a battery-powered system could mean as much as 1-2,000 pounds of disposable battery waste every two years.
  • Integration: The solution should be compatible with the existing infrastructure, including networking, IT, and building management systems. A robust API powering real-time integrations with leading workplace experience and booking applications, including Appspace, Calven, and GoSpace, is highly valuable. This kind of integration can be a great way to boost employee productivity by ending ghost bookings of conference rooms and workstations.
  • Security and Privacy: The solution should have robust security and privacy features, including data encryption and access controls, to protect sensitive information. For example, XY Sense offers robust security and privacy protection through multiple means, including leveraging computer vision with “edge processing,” which ensures that no images or other information that could potentially contain proprietary company information or employee personally identifiable information (PII) are stored or transmitted from sensors. This offers an unsurpassed combination of privacy and security protection. 
  • Data Analytics: Many sensor systems can provide data, but insight is different. The best systems offer a comprehensive insights solution to help make your data actionable. 
  • Cost: The solution cost is an essential factor, including the upfront installation and ongoing maintenance costs. Installation costs can vary by $Millions on global installation programs – make sure you factor those into your overall considerations. For example, XY Sense saved a financial services company $12M on a global deployment across its facilities. 
  • Support, Service, and Strategic Assistance: The availability of technical support and service is essential in ensuring the continued operation and accuracy of the solution. This kind of human support, combined with real-time data from your solution, can help boost employee productivity, give business leaders critical facts, and power better decisions in many areas.

Download our buyer’s guide to workplace utilization technology.

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What % of office space is actually being used?

Download our new office utilization benchmarks for workplace teams and learn about trends in hybrid workplaces.