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The ultimate guide to workplace analytics use cases

How can occupancy and utilization data drive ROI in your workplace? 

Explore uses cases for occupancy sensors and utilization analytics in your office portfolio.

In this guide, we explore some of the most popular use cases in workplace analytics for real estate teams. Each listing provides rationale, step-by-step how-tos, and information about how to get the best results. 

If you don’t find your challenge listed, contact our team. We’d love to help you formulate a data strategy and action plan for your unique challenges.

Jump to use cases

Defining business objectives for deploying workplace sensors

In a world where real estate is the number two expense for most organizations, second only to employee compensation, it’s critical that teams take a proactive approach to managing the performance of their office space. 

When a real estate or workplace team is able to accurately capture and analyze data on workplace performance, they can optimize workplace investments and maximize ROI while creating an inviting and productive working environment for teams. 

Workplace analytics, also known as occupancy analytics or occupancy intelligence, is a relatively new type of business intelligence which focuses on the occupancy, utilization, performance and overall experience of a company’s office locations and real estate portfolio. It involves strategic planning, various modes of data collection from across office environments, data analysis and reporting, and the application of strategic insights within team space allocations/planning, workplace design/ fit-outs and leasing strategies.

The primary business objectives for deploying workplace sensors or occupancy sensors in offices are often defined as follows:

Let’s explore what’s possible for each of these business objectives with detailed information on how to execute for these use cases with XY Sense.

Workplace utilization monitoring for hybrid workplaces

In the post-pandemic world, most companies have created return-to-office (RTO) policies and targets to enhance worker productivity, maximize collaboration, and ensure airtight information security. 

Over 75% of leading companies have return-to-office guidelines or recommendations in place in 2023. But for many, there have been significant challenges. Recent survey data showed that most bosses regret how they mandated workers return to the office, blaming problems on insufficient data. Robust workplace analytics can provide that missing insight so companies can master portfolio optimization and space planning in the hybrid workplace era.

Is there a workplace leader who hasn’t been asked, ‘How many people are coming into our office now?’ Companies want to understand actual workplace demand in the current environment. Especially when companies have instituted a hybrid or flexible work policy, the need for accurate information on office attendance is urgent. Since 60+% of information businesses now leverage hybrid workplaces, it’s also essential to understand occupation levels and fluctuation patterns throughout the work week. 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Daily Occupancy
  • Occupancy on Peak v. Non-Peak In-Office Days
  • Occupancy at Peak v. Non-Peak In-Office Times
  • Real-Time Occupancy (Daily/Hourly)


How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to determine how many people are coming to the office

  1. XY Sense makes it easy to get answers to this question. Once Entry Sensors are installed at the key entrance points of your workplace, you can access this data quickly in the XY Sense Insights Platform.
  2. To enrich this data foundation, examine average daily occupancy to understand fluctuations by day of week and time of day, especially if you have implemented a hybrid (flexible) work schedule. These data points are easily collected from pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports.
  3. Note also that companies choosing XY Sense Sensors can measure how many people are in your office in real time, which can provide helpful insight when you receive reports of a shortage of resources or concerns about “ghost” areas. Most workplace sensor solutions do not offer accurate real-time measurements. Download our Entry Sensor Solution Brief for more information. 


More information

For more information on effective RTO strategies, get a copy of our RTO Solution Brief now.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies to understand the various technologies available and their relative strengths.

Legacy approaches to measuring workplace occupancy and utilization, like employee surveys and observation audits, can’t accurately measure RTO policy compliance. They only collect data at a moment in time and with inaccurate methodologies. Robust occupancy sensors and analytics give you the insight to understand compliance by monitoring occupancy continuously and in real-time. 

XY Sense solution:
Entry Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Daily Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Weekly Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Monthly Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Entry and Exit Patterns and Average Time in Office Each Day


How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to measure RTO policy compliance at the workplace level

  1. First, determine the number of people in a workplace who are expected to be in the office based on your RTO policy. That sets the “maximum” figure for your compliance analysis. 
  2. Once installed at the entry point of your workplace, Entry Sensors will record the number of people that come into an office, how many exit, and the timing of entries and exits. The data are easily obtained in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. 
  3. You can calculate a percentage compliance figure by dividing the number of people entering the office by the maximum number expected based on the RTO policy. 
  4. With XY Sense Sensors, you can take this analysis to another level. Use Entry Sensors to calculate the average time people spend in the office. By comparing this to the number of hours people are expected to attend, you can determine if employees are spending full days in your workplace or only partial days. 
  5. As you prepare your analysis and conclusions, note that some people will likely not be expected in the office on any particular day due to illness, vacations, business travel, etc. Pre-pandemic daily office attendance averaged 65- 70%.  


More information

For more information on effective RTO strategies, download our RTO Solution Brief.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Many companies want more granular insight into whether specific floors or teams comply with RTO policies and how utilization for individual business units, teams or specific workplace areas compares to capacity. These insights can help businesses understand whether they have over- or under-utilized zones and if respective teams are properly observing RTO guidance or mandates. 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Daily Floor or Area Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Weekly Floor or Area Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Monthly Floor or Area Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Average Time Spent in Office


How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to measure RTO policy compliance at the floor or area levels

  1. Start by determining the number of people expected on each floor/in each team zone or neighborhood on in-office days. That sets the “maximum” figure for your analysis. 
  2. Once installed at the entry points of each floor or work area, Entry Sensors track the number of people entering a floor or area, the number exiting, and the timing of entries and exits. The data are easy to find in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. Area Sensors monitor the utilization of specific areas and resources like meeting spaces and desks. By collecting and analyzing this data, you gain critical insight into specific teams’ attendance and work patterns.
  3. Calculate a percentage compliance figure by dividing the number of people entering a floor or area by the maximum number expected based on the RTO policy. 
  4. With XY Sense Sensors, you can take this analysis to another level. Precision tracking of entry and exit times lets you calculate the average time people spend in a particular neighborhood or zone of the  office. By comparing this to the number of hours people are expected to attend, you can determine if employees are spending full days in your workplace. Some people will likely not be scheduled in the office on any particular day due to illness, vacations, business travel, etc. Remember, 100% attendance is unrealistic. 
  5. Some helpful advice: The experience of thousands of companies worldwide suggests that driving greater RTO compliance most effectively involves both “carrot and stick.” Don’t use your analytics data to punish but rather as the foundation for a sound approach to encouraging regular in office attendance as outlined in your company rules and guidelines.
  6. It’s worth noting that XY Sense is a 100% privacy-preserving solution, this means that individuals cannot be identified as the only data collected is anonymous occupancy detections “X” and “Y” coordinates or people entering and/or dwelling in a nominated section of the floorplan. 


More information

For more information on effective RTO strategies, download our RTO Solution Brief.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Learn more about how XY Sense sensors comprehensively protect employee privacy

In the increasingly hybrid workplace, understanding the level of workplace occupancy is incredibly important. Outdated planning metrics do not provide a true picture of how office space is being used.

Utilization analysis helps reveal the relative relationship between average occupancy rates and workplace capacity to understand the actual performance of corporate real estate. Globally, data from across the vast XY Sense network of clients and 25,000+ monitored workspaces shows average occupancy rates by country range from about 20% to 60%. But every office is different, and having the most accurate data is essential. Only precision workplace sensors and analytics can provide workplace teams with accurate insights.

XY Sense solution: Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Percent of Office Workpoints Utilized Hourly
  • Percent of Office Workpoints Utilized Daily
  • Percent of Office Workpoints Utilized Weekly
  • Percent of Office Workpoints Utilized Monthly
  • Percent of Meeting Spaces Utilized Hourly
  • Percent of Meeting Spaces Utilized Daily
  • Percent of Meeting Spaces Utilized Weekly
  • Percent of Meeting Spaces Utilized Monthly

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to conduct workplace utilization monitoring

  1. The first task is to calculate the total workplace capacity of your office. Many companies use the number of desks in the workplace to define office capacity. If you have 400 desks, cubicles, and single-person offices in your facility, your capacity is 400. Companies also track the percentage utilization of meeting spaces in the same way.
  2. The best Area Sensors, like XY Sense, track the number of individual desks used and the average duration of use. When these Area Sensors are initially deployed, every separate workspace and meeting is mapped so that we can report on usage at a granular level. Because XY Sense Sensors are accurate to within one foot (35 cm,) they can detect whether an individual desk is in use and for how long. The data for individual desks and groupings of desks are easy to find in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. Again, meeting spaces can be tracked in the same way. 
  3. Using these individual desk measurements as its foundation, the XY Sense Insights Platform reports individual workpoint usage, usage level by type (e.g., desks, cubicles, work tables), floors, areas, and the total workplace level. You can define groupings that make sense for your organization. The data for individual desks and groups of desks are easy to find in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. 
  4. You can calculate your average workplace utilization percentage by dividing the average number of people in a space by the total capacity figure. 
  5. It’s not realistic to expect or target 100% utilization of office space. 100% is only possible if your company has precisely the same number of desks and meeting spaces as employees and every person is in attendance. In practice, this rarely happens, and having no “available” desks on a given day would be emblematic of delivering a crowded, poor workplace experience for those in the office. Most company real estate teams build a little “slack” into their planning, with 60 -70%utilization a high benchmark for most in today’s hybrid world. Rather than just focusing on maximizing utilization, workplace teams must consider how to deliver a frictionless experience in the space and anticipated growth plans. Frictionless is  how a company “earns” worker commute time and effort. If your team experiences hassles finding work stations or conference rooms, they doubt the value of coming into the office, particularly if they have long commutes.
  6. With accurate workplace utilization from sensors, you can raise your target utilization level without fear of causing disruption as your company expands. In the return-to-office (RTO) environment, many companies are experiencing far lower utilization levels than before the pandemic. Our recent Workplace Utilization Index revealed average utilization levels by country at between 20-60%. Accurate utilization level data empowers workplace teams to rightsize workplace footprint and change assumptions about future expansion needs based on more accurate data. 

More information

For more insights about rightsizing to hit target utilization levels, download our eguide, Rightsize Right

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

With hybrid work, traditional 1:1 people:desk seating guidelines lead to dead zones and holding onto large office areas that are unnecessary for the “new office normal.” In response, many companies are moving to agile seating models like “hot desking” and establishing team “pods” that better reflect demand. Occupancy and workplace analytics enable companies to understand actual demand and make smarter decisions on defining and implementing their agile workplace strategies. 

XY Sense solution:
Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Percent of Desks Utilized Hourly at the Workplace, Floor, and Team Area Levels
  • Percent of Desks Utilized Daily at the Workplace, Floor, and Team Area Levels
  • Percent of Desks Utilized Weekly at the Workplace, Floor, and Team Area Levels
  • Percent of Desks Utilized Monthly at the Workplace, Floor, and Team Area Levels
  • Percent of Time Desks are Occupied at the Workplace, Floor, and Team Area Levels

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to manage the transition from fixed to agile seating

  1. Most companies considering moving to agile seating today are doing so to find ways to rightsize their offices in light of hybrid work schedules and lower workplace utilization rates. With agile seating, companies can mothball 1:1 employee-to-desk ratios and instead plan based on seats needed to accommodate the expected number of workers on different days. 
  2. The first step for moving to agile seating is understanding current workpoint or desk utilization levels and patterns. By leveraging data from XY Sense Area Sensors on the percentage of desks utilized, you can calculate the space required on different days of the week and whether these demand levels change over time. The data are easy to find in pre-built reports in the XY Sense Insights Platform.
  3. Having data from XY Sense Area Sensors for your entire workplace, individual floors, and team areas helps you understand how to manage demand and supply more adeptly. With effective occupancy planning, you have multiple options for implementing agile seating. Some companies look at their entire locations as a collection of seats and assign people randomly or sequentially as they enter the workplace. Another approach is to allocate space to each department based on its demand. For example, a 25-person department with only 12 people in on any workday would be assigned ~12 seats that team members claim as they come in each day. Both strategies can drive significant reductions in needed space when it comes time to renegotiate your lease. XYSense integrations with leading booking platforms make this approach even more straightforward. 
  4. You can help guide your company to the right agile strategy by analyzing individual team needs and daily occupancy. For example, if your office is mostly empty on Mondays and Fridays, an agile strategy that allows you to assign seats on a limited number of floors can help you reduce utility and heating-cooling costs on the disused floors. This is called floor balancing


More information

You can find more information on agile strategies and floor balancing in this blog post

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

In a hybrid workplace, traditional rules of thumb like X number of meeting spaces per hundred employees and 1:1 desk ratios are no longer fit for purpose. Workplace teams must meet demand and increase workplace satisfaction scores versus baseline levels. To define the right amount of space for each resource type in your workplace, you need accurate data on resource demand to validate spaces and capacities for the “new normal.” Occupancy sensors and analytics provide the insight you need to get the mix right.

XY Sense solution:
Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Percent Utilization of Each Space Type (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Percent of Time Each Space Type is Used (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Percent Fullness When Meeting Spaces and Team Pods are Used ((Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Occupancy Count per Floor/Zone vs. Capacity (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)


How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to optimize fit-out mix for hybrid workplace needs

  1. The first step in optimizing fit-out is to understand the current utilization rate for different types of workspace, like desks, collaboration areas, and meeting rooms. When you first install XY Sense Sensors, your XY Sense team will work with you to map all your workspaces so we can track the utilization of every desk and space. Because XY Sense Sensors are accurate to within one foot (35cm), you can measure utilization at the individual desk or space level and get insights on groups of same-type resources. You can access utilization data by space type and utilization rate for each desk and space from pre-built reports in the XY Sense Insights Platform
  2. By comparing utilization rates by workspace type, you can determine which types of space are underutilized and which are in short supply. It’s helpful to look at these utilization levels by day of the week and hour in the day to help ensure you have resources available in even the busiest times.
  3. From there, it’s time to figure out how to optimize your space type mix. Many organizations find that their historic ratios for allocating individual workstations and meeting spaces are no longer appropriate. Most companies devote 80% or more of their workspaces to individual desks or cubes. That may have made sense pre-pandemic. But in the hybrid work world, most people spend more time collaborating with others during their in-office days. That often calls for a change in fit-out ratios to increase the allocation for collaborative meeting rooms and areas. 
  4. It can be helpful to compare your experience to benchmarks. Our recent Global Workplace Utilization Index found that, on average, 36% of desks sit completely unused in a typical office since the return to office. An additional 29% were utilized three hours or less each day. Just 14% were utilized more than five hours per day. By contrast, meeting rooms for two persons or more were utilized 90% of the time, meaning the average office has outdated fit-out ratios. Every organization has different patterns, however. Understand the utilization level of each space type in your office so you can identify the strategies and tactics that work for your business. 
  5. By altering the fit-out ratios in your office to its unique work patterns, you can make your workplaces more productive and ensure that people have the space types they need when they come in.

    More information

Read more about workplace analytics and portfolio optimization

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

How much space should I allocate to desks? How big do my conference rooms need to be? Are teams using that “cool” collaboration area surrounded by plants instead of walls? Would adding more stand-up workstations be a win in employees’ minds, or would it cost a lot and simply create an occupancy desert? Hybrid work rules have upended how people and teams use in-office time. Workplace leaders need reliable insights on what to build and how to outfit it.

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

Percent Utilization of Each Space Type (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)

  • Percent of Time Each Space Type is Used (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Percent Fullness When Meeting Spaces and Team Pods are Used ((Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Occupancy Count per Floor/Zone vs. Capacity (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)

How to validate workplace design and space types for new office usage patterns with occupancy analytics

  1. To validate space types in your workplace, start by understanding the current utilization rate for each resource type, like desks, collaboration areas, and meeting rooms. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, your XY Sense team maps all your workspaces and meeting areas to enable utilization tracking of every desk and space. Because XY Sense Sensors are accurate to within one foot (35cm), you can measure utilization at the individual desk or space level. Our insights platform also aggregates this data to provide insights on groups of same-type resources like desks, meeting rooms, and “phone booths.” It is easy to access utilization data by space type and the utilization rate for each desk and space in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. 
  2. The next step is to compare utilization rates for workspace types. In doing this, you can determine which types of space are underutilized and which are in short supply. Consider your utilization levels by day of the week and hour in the day to ensure you have sufficient resources available in even your office’s busiest times. Pre-pandemic, many organizations outfitted their organizations based on long-accepted ratios. Most companies devote 80% or more of their workspaces to individual desks or cubes. The challenge is that work patterns have often changed significantly in today’s return-to-office and hybrid workplace environment. In most offices, people spend more time collaborating with others during their in-office days while saving up much of their solo work for at-home days. With your occupancy analytics insights, you can make changes to increase the allocation for collaborative meeting rooms and areas to your unique team needs. 
  3. It can be helpful to compare data for your workplace(s) with industry benchmarks. Our recent Global Workplace Utilization Index found that, on average, 36% of desks sit completely unused in a typical office since the return to office (RTO). An additional 29% were utilized three hours or less each day. Just 14% were utilized more than five hours per day. By contrast, meeting rooms for two persons or more were utilized 90% of the time, meaning the average office has outdated fit-out ratios. Every organization has different patterns, however. 
  4. By altering the fit-out ratios in your office to its unique work patterns, you can make your workplaces more productive and ensure that people have the space types they need when they come in.

More information

Learn more about workplace utilization and portfolio optimization.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Reduce real estate costs

Real estate is the number two expense for most information economy businesses. As companies come under increased pressure to improve profitability and cut costs, real estate is a big line item that CFOs look to first

For workplace leaders, occupancy analytics provides the data foundation to define needs and make intelligent choices for reducing footprint and expenses. Accurate data is critical to maximizing savings while ensuring your organization has the right resources for current and near-term changes in needs. 

A recent IWG survey of CFOs showed that 74% expect to reduce office space for their companies this year, and 65% hope to reduce total workplace costs by more than 10%. Comprehensive workplace analytics create the data and insight layer necessary to build a rightsizing plan intelligently. It helps leaders understand resource demand, utilization versus capacity, and other key metrics to optimize space and resources without cutting too deeply and harming productivity. 

XY Sense solution:
Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Benchmark Average Location Occupancy vs. Capacity
  • Benchmark Changes in Average Occupancy vs. Capacity Over Time
  • Benchmark Average Location Utilization vs. Capacity
  • Benchmark Changes Average Location Utilization vs. Capacity Over Time 
  • Benchmark Resource Type Utilization vs. Capacity
  • Benchmark Resource Type Utilization vs. Capacity Over Time


How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to intelligently reduce company real estate expenses

  1. The process usually begins with the workplace or finance team setting a target for cost reduction, like reducing total real estate costs by 15%. From there, the workplace team must determine total real estate expenses to establish the baseline for the project. Your company’s FP&A team probably has these figures calculated already.
  2. From there, companies need to identify how much space they need to meet current and likely future needs. Retaining too much space is inefficient while holding too little causes stresses that hurt company productivity. XY Sense Area Sensors track utilization at the office, floor, area, and individual resource (e.g., desk) levels for essential quantitative insight. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, we map your office space so that our platform can track utilization in real time and over time. That process establishes the capacity of your office. 
  3. Determine the current utilization level for your workplace by consulting the data in your XY Sense Insights Platform. The data are easily found in pre-built reports. Benchmark your current utilization levels for your total workplace and resource types like desks, meeting spaces, and conference rooms.
  4. Your next task is to understand what sources of potential savings are available. Are leases expiring soon, or is there a market to sublet space you don’t need? If so, reducing the office footprint can be a great source of savings. There are many potential ways to reduce your minimum required workplace footprint. If you have a very low level of workplace utilization, you may be able to reduce space and achieve savings without deviating from the traditional 1:1 employee-to-desk ratio. If utilization varies significantly by team, you may be able to reduce the space allocated to specific teams. If your workplace attendance varies considerably by day of the week, you may consider agile seating approaches like hot desking or assigning each team a compact “pod” of desks and meeting spaces based on its maximum in-office attendance level. 
  5. Even when companies cannot change their existing real estate footprint for some time, occupancy analytics can help reduce expenses by helping them avoid or delay obtaining more space as their teams grow. Many companies apply a conservative utilization model, targeting a figure like 60% utilization to ensure that there are always sufficient resources available for people coming to the office. Because historical methods of calculating utilization were inaccurate, companies had to err on holding too much space to avoid resource shortages. With occupancy analytics, you get an accurate picture of current utilization levels and safely raise your target utilization level. 
  6. Once you have made changes to drive the targeted savings, continue to monitor your workplace to identify additional sources of savings. For example, many companies are exploring “floor balancing,” which refers to taking an agile approach to opening floors of a workspace based on expected attendance. Using an agile seating approach, companies can “close” certain floors on low attendance days and reduce heating/cooling, utilities, and cleaning costs for those areas. All employees coming in on a low attendance day are assigned desks on open floors upon arrival.

     

More information

You can find more information on agile strategies and floor balancing in this blog post

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

In the “new hybrid normal,” average workspace utilization is down 50% versus the pre-pandemic levels, but occupancy often varies significantly by location, day of week, and sometimes by individual group or department. No company should hold onto unnecessary floors or create disruption by cutting too much. With workplace analytics, real estate teams can determine the space and resource utilization with unprecedented accuracy to make smarter decisions about reducing floors or locations without creating workplace friction.

XY Sense solution:
Area Sensors 

Essential metrics and reports

  • Occupancy Count by Facility and Floor vs. Capacity (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Occupancy Count by Facility and Floor vs. Capacity Over Time
  • Percent Utilization of Each Space Type
  • Percent of Time Used for Each Space Type
  • Percent Fullness by Facility and Floor When Used

     

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to reduce the number of floors and locations your company occupies

  1. The process begins with the workplace or finance team setting a target for reducing floors of locations in the company’s real estate portfolio.
  2. From there, you must determine the utilization level of different floors and neighborhoods in your space. XY Sense Area Sensors track utilization at the office, floor, area, and individual resource (e.g., desk) level to provide essential quantitative insight. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, we map your entire office space so that we can track utilization in real time and over time. That process establishes the capacity of your office. Determine the current utilization level for each facility and/or floor by consulting the data in your XY Sense Insights Platform. The data are easily found in pre-built reports. Benchmark your current utilization levels for resource types like desks, meeting spaces, and conference rooms. Dig deeper to understand how utilization varies by floor, area, and resource type. 
  3. Determine the maximum capacity utilization level for your facilities or floors. For example, if your hybrid work policy demands people come in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, calculate the utilization level on those days.
  4. Your next task is formulating a plan to eliminate space by consolidating teams and resources. If your office has a very low level of workplace utilization, you may be able to achieve space savings without deviating from the traditional 1:1 employee-to-desk ratio. If utilization varies significantly by team, you could reduce the space allocated to low-utilization teams. If your workplace attendance varies considerably by day of the week, you may consider agile seating approaches like hot desking or assigning each team a compact “pod” of desks and meeting spaces based on its maximum in-office attendance level. Many companies hold a lot of excess space because they have historically applied a conservative utilization model, targeting a figure like 60% utilization to ensure sufficient resources are always available for people coming to the office. Because legacy methods of calculating utilization, like moment-in-time observation audits and employee surveys were so inaccurate, companies had to err on holding too much space to avoid resource shortages. With occupancy analytics, you get an accurate picture of current utilization levels and can safely raise your target utilization level. 
  5. Once you have made changes to drive the targeted savings, continue to monitor your workplace to identify additional sources of savings. For example, many companies are exploring “floor balancing,” which refers to taking an agile approach to opening floors of a workspace based on expected attendance. Using an agile seating approach, companies can “close” certain floors on low attendance days and reduce heating/cooling, utilities, and cleaning costs for those areas. All employees coming in on a low attendance day are assigned desks on open floors upon arrival.


More information

You can find more information on agile strategies and floor balancing in this blog post

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologie

Portfolio strategy and site optimization

Fundamental changes in how we work and use in-office time have created challenges and opportunities for workplace leaders. Many companies are demanding rightsizing initiatives to improve total company expenses. 

 Additionally, new working methods require different types and quantities of workplace resources. Precise occupancy and resource utilization data from occupancy sensors and analytics empower real estate teams to accurately define needs and make intelligent decisions on defining and fitting out spaces.

While tough economic conditions and the advent of hybrid work rules have put the industry’s focus on rightsizing recently, most companies hope and expect to grow in the years ahead. And in some regions like APAC, many companies continue to expand rapidly in high-growth markets like India and Indonesia. To manage workplace expansion strategically, real estate teams must be agile. They must anticipate short- and long-term needs and precisely forecast the space and resources needed to accommodate a growing workforce. Without accurate occupancy data and benchmarks, these teams must rely on guesswork and “over-lease” to ensure they have the necessary space. 

XY Sense solution: Area Sensors 

Essential metrics and reports

  • Occupancy Count by Facility and Floor vs. Capacity (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Occupancy Count by Facility and Floor vs. Capacity Over Time
  • Ratio of Resources per Employee
  • Percent Utilization of Each Space Type
  • Percent of Time Used for Each Space Type
  • Percent Fullness by Facility and Floor When Used

     

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to accurately forecast future space needs for your company

 

  1. To forecast space and resource needs to accommodate a growing workforce, companies need to understand their current utilization levels and anticipated future increases in complement. To provide the essential quantitative insight here, XY Sense Area Sensors track utilization at the office, floor, area, and individual resource (e.g., desk) levels. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, we map your entire office space so that we can track utilization in real time and over time. That process establishes the capacity of your office. The data collected upon launch shows your current utilization. 
  2. Occupancy analytics platforms like XY Sense measure resource utilization at the individual level, so you get an accurate picture of current utilization levels and can raise your target utilization level, secure in the knowledge that you can plan for expansion with greater precision. Data on current utilization levels by facility, floor, team, and area are readily available in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. 
  3. By understanding your actual space and resource utilization, you can set more aggressive utilization targets and minimize your expansion programs. For example, we worked with a company that had set a 75% utilization target for its call center facilities but suspected it was too conservative. Historically, they used moment-in-time audits to calculate utilization levels and compensated for their inaccuracy with a lower utilization target. When they implemented XY Sense Area Sensors, they learned that utilization was 38% lower than estimated by their audits. That meant they could accommodate 350 more agents per shift in the existing space. With accurate data, they could safely adjust their target utilization from 75% to 90% and postpone workplace expansion for three years.

     

More information

 

To learn more about setting more intelligent utilization targets and forecasting, download a copy of our Rightsize Right eguide.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Companies are even more focused on preventing or delaying purchases whenever possible in today’s environment. In the past, many companies acquired space before it was needed to be ready for potential growth. Hybrid work rules make anticipating needs even more difficult because traditional rules of thumb for space and resources, like desks per employee or meeting rooms per 100 workers, are no longer accurate. Average workplace occupancy is down 50% versus pre-pandemic levels, but daily occupancy is typically very high mid-week.  Companies must understand space and resource utilization accurately and precisely to add space only when necessary.
 
XY Sense solution: Area Sensors
 
Essential metrics and reports

  • Occupancy Count by Facility and Floor vs. Capacity (Daily/Weekly/Monthly)
  • Occupancy Count by Facility and Floor vs. Capacity Over Time
  • Ratio of Resources per Employee
  • Percent Utilization of Each Space Type
  • Percent of Time Used for Each Space Type
  • Percent Fullness by Facility and Floor When Used

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to avoid acquiring more office space until it’s really needed

  1. To project future needs accurately, companies must understand their current workplace utilization levels, appropriate ratios of employees to desks and meeting rooms, and anticipated future increases in hiring. XY Sense Area Sensors are the most precise way for companies to track utilization at the office, floor, area, and individual resource (e.g., desk) level and determine optimal ratios for desks and other space types per employee
  2. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, we map your entire office space so that we can track utilization in real time and over time. That process establishes the capacity of your office. 
  3. To calculate the number of seats necessary to accommodate a team, many companies apply a conservative utilization model to ensure that sufficient resources are always available for people coming to the office. Because historical methods of calculating utilization and fullness were inaccurate, companies had to err on holding too much space to avoid resource shortages. 
  4. With occupancy analytics solutions like XY Sense that can measure resource utilization at the individual level, you get an accurate picture of current utilization levels and can raise your target utilization level. Data on current utilization levels by facility, floor, team, and area are readily available in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. To learn more about more intelligent utilization forecasting, download a copy of our Rightsize Right eguide.
  5. By understanding your actual space and resource utilization, you can set more aggressive utilization targets and slow real estate footprint expansion. Many companies find that with accurate utilization data, they can accommodate more people in existing space and delay new space leases by many months or years.

More information

To learn more about smarter utilization forecasting, download a copy of our Rightsize Right eguide.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Now that the “return to office” has largely been completed and most companies have instituted hybrid work rules, many businesses have far more office space than they need. While some would happily release leased space if they could, long-term leases hinder this flexibility. Nevertheless, some companies are meeting with their landlords to try and negotiate more favorable lease terms. Accurate occupancy and utilization insights can arm your workplace, real estate, and finance teams with the data to show the scale of the gap between available and used space. This can provide compelling insights to help you push for more favorable agreements and terms.

XY Sense solution: Area Sensors
 
Essential metrics and reports

  • Daily Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Weekly Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Monthly Occupancy versus Capacity
  • Entry and Exit Patterns and Average Time in Office Each Day

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to inform preferential leasing terms negotiations

  1. First, calculate the total workplace capacity of your office. Many companies use the number of desks in the space to define their office capacity. If your facility has 400 desks, cubicles, and single-person offices, your capacity is 400. Companies can also track the percentage utilization of meeting spaces similarly. 
  2. The best Area Sensors, like XY Sense, track the number of individual desks used and the average duration of use. When XY Area Sensors are initially deployed, every desk and collaboration space is mapped so that we can report on usage at a granular level. For example, if a desk is used for 6 of 8 hours in a workday, it is 75% or 0.75 utilized for that day. The data for individual desks and groupings of desks are easy to find in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports. 
  3. By aggregating data across individual resources like desks, the XY Sense Insights Platform calculates and reports on individual desk usage and level of use by workpoint types, floors, and areas. You can define groupings that make sense for your organization. You can calculate your workplace utilization percentage figure by dividing the total desk utilization by the number of desks available.
  4. In the return-to-office (RTO) environment, many companies are experiencing far lower utilization levels. Our recent Workplace Utilization Index revealed average utilization levels by country at between 20-60%. Accurate utilization level data empowers workplace teams to rightsize workplace footprint to utilization levels and change assumptions about future expansion needs based on more accurate data. Armed with precision data from your XY Sensors, you can go to your landlord with the data necessary for a potentially more fruitful renegotiation.

More information

To learn more about smarter utilization forecasting, download a copy of our Rightsize Right eguide.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Deliver outstanding workplace experience

Real estate and workplace teams are passionate about creating inviting and appealing environments that maximize team effectiveness and make people happy to spend time in the office. Creating a positive experience is even more critical in light of the RTO environment and hybrid work. With great occupancy and workplace analytics, workplace leaders have the insights foundation they need to create outstanding work environments that improve team effectiveness and increase ROI.

Years ago, real estate teams could count the number of people on a team, assign each to a desk, and then set a reasonable number of meeting rooms to serve their needs. But that certainty has flown out the window in the post-pandemic hybrid work world. Teams may have different work schedules and patterns, radically different collaboration needs, and even different preferences or needs regarding seating configurations and environments. When a real estate team has the correct data to understand resource demand and needs by team, they can allocate an ideal amount of space, desks, and other resources to accommodate them in a productive and appealing way. 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Each Space Type
  • Team’s Percent of Time Each Space Type is Used
  • Team’s Percent Fullness When Used
  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Individual Resources (desks, Meeting Rooms)
  • Occupancy Count Per Floor/Zone


How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to allocate the correct amount of space/resources to each team/service line:

  1. To provide the essential quantitative insight here, XY Sense Area Sensors track utilization at the team, area, and individual resource (e.g., desk) levels. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, we map your entire office space so that we can track utilization in real time and over time. We can also create custom subsets like team areas so you can track resource utilization by team. 
  2. Determine the current utilization level for every team by consulting the data in your XY Sense Insights Platform. The data are easily found in pre-built reports. Benchmark the team’s current utilization levels for resource types like desks, meeting spaces, and conference rooms. Dig deeper to understand how utilization varies by day of week and hour per day. Determine the maximum capacity utilization level for the team – the team’s “high water mark.”
  3. Now you have many options. Different strategies and tactics will make sense depending on your company’s occupancy and utilization data. You may be able to adjust the size of a team’s space, desk, and meeting room allocation to reflect the team’s overall size. If the team rarely or never utilizes all of its space, you can consider switching to a pods-based approach that assigns team members to seats in the team pod when they enter the office. If data for many teams fluctuate widely throughout the week, which is often the case in companies with hybrid work rules, you may want to eliminate team areas and move to a company-wide hot-desk model where people are assigned to the company’s broad pool of workstations when they enter. 
  4. If you choose hot-desking, you can also explore floor balancing, which “opens” floors based on expected attendance on that workday. On low attendance days, you can “close” some floors and reduce utilities, heating/cooling, and cleaning services to those areas to reduce expenses and your company’s carbon footprint. The feasibility of this model depends on whether you can control access to floors, elevators, etc. Finally, if your team has high utilization levels only occasionally, you may want to explore flexible workspace leasing.


More information

For more insights on intelligently rightsizing your space, download our Rightsize Right eguide.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

“My team needs more space/desks/conference rooms!” It’s the clarion call of line managers worldwide, and workplace leaders must respond in ways that accommodate genuine needs while avoiding unnecessary allocations and purchases. Often, these requests are based on anecdotal comments, complaints, or moment-in-time observation. With rich occupancy and workplace data from a great analytics platform, real estate teams can assess current usage versus capacity, make wise decisions, and have the proof necessary to show business leaders which requests make business sense. 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Each Space Type
  • Team’s Percent of Time Each Space Type is Used
  • Team’s Percent Fullness When Used
  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Individual Resources (Desks, Meeting Rooms)
  • Occupancy Count Per Floor/Zone

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to respond to requests for space, desks, meeting rooms, or equipment

  1. You need quantitative insight to assess the need for additional resources at the team level. XY Sense Area Sensors can track utilization at the team, area, and individual resource (e.g., desk) levels. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, we map your entire office space so that we can track utilization in real time and over time. We can also establish custom groupings like team areas so you can track resource utilization by team or service line.
  2. Determine the current level of utilization for the team by consulting the data in your XY Sense Insights Platform. The data are easily found in pre-built reports. Benchmark the team’s current utilization levels for resource types like desks, meeting spaces, and conference rooms. Dig deeper to understand how utilization varies by day of week and hour per day.
  3. Determine the maximum capacity utilization level for the team. For example, if your hybrid work policy demands people come in midweek, calculate the utilization level on the highest attendance days to establish the team’s “high water mark.”
  4. Now, the fun begins. Your correct course of action depends on the data you find. By measuring current utilization versus capacity levels, you can objectively assess the need for additional resources. You can make a strong case for the funds if resources are truly needed. If resources are short, but other teams have more resources than they need, you can shift desks and other resources between teams to even out demand or show the line manager the data and propose approaches that make the most sense for your business.

More information

Learn more about occupancy and resource planning.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Hybrid work rules create unique challenges for workplace teams. Demand for desks and other resources usually varies by day of the week based on the company’s days-in-office rules. While data from XY Sense’s Workplace Utilization Index reports show that global office utilization levels are at about half pre-pandemic levels, demand on midweek days is often at or near capacity. In contrast, Mondays and Fridays show extremely light utilization. 

Further, historic team space and resource allocations often lead to low occupancy levels and workplace ‘ghost towns,’ which waste utilities and other resources and sap the workplace of a productive vibe. In response, many companies are transitioning from 1:1 desk allocations to agile seating in which workers are assigned seats when they enter the office in a hot desk or team “pod” configuration. This enables the company to rightsize space and explore more advanced options like floor balancing to reduce utilities, cleaning costs, and carbon footprint

XY Sense solution:  Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Percent Utilization of Desks 
  • Percent Utilization of Desks by Floor/Team Area
  • Percent of Time Desks are Utilized by Floor/Team Area
  • Peak Days/Times for Utilization

     

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to transition from fixed to agile (unassigned) seating

 

  1. Most companies move from fixed to agile seating to reduce space and move away from 1:1 employee-to-desk rations. The process begins by assessing the current utilization levels of your workplace. To provide the essential quantitative insight here, XY Sense Area Sensors track utilization at the office, floor, area, and individual resource (e.g., desk) levels to provide the essential quantitative insight here. When you first deploy XY Sense Sensors, we map your entire office space so that we can track utilization in real time and over time. That process establishes the capacity of your office. The data collected upon launch shows your current needs. 
  2. Determine the current utilization level for your workplace by consulting the data in your XY Sense Insights Platform. The data are easily found in pre-built reports. Benchmark your current utilization levels for your total workplace and resource types like desks, meeting spaces, and conference rooms. Dig deeper to understand how utilization varies by floor, area, and resource type. 
  3. Determine the “high water mark” for workplace utilization in your work week. For example, if your hybrid work policy demands people come in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, calculate the utilization level on those days.
  4. Your next task is to understand what sources of potential savings are available. Are leases expiring soon, or is there a market to sublet space you don’t need? If so, reducing the office footprint can be a great source of savings. If not, you will need to enter into negotiations with your landlord or get more creative in identifying achievable savings. There are many potential ways to reduce your minimum required workplace footprint. If you have a very low level of workplace utilization, you may be able to achieve savings without deviating from the traditional 1:1 employee-to-desk ratio. If utilization varies significantly by team, you may be able to reduce the space allocated to that team. If your workplace attendance varies considerably by day of the week, you may consider agile seating approaches like hot desking or assigning each team a compact “pod” of desks and meeting spaces based on its maximum in-office attendance level. 
  5. Even when companies cannot change their existing real estate footprint for some time, occupancy analytics can help reduce expenses by helping them avoid or delay obtaining more space as their teams grow. Many companies apply a conservative utilization model, targeting a figure like 70% utilization to ensure that there are always sufficient resources available for people coming to the office. Because historical methods of calculating utilization were inaccurate, companies had to err on holding too much space to avoid resource shortages. With occupancy analytics, you get an accurate picture of current utilization levels and can raise your target utilization level. 
  6. Once you have made changes, continue to monitor your workplace to identify additional sources of savings. For example, many companies are exploring “floor balancing,” which refers to taking an agile approach to opening floors of a workspace based on expected attendance. Using an agile seating approach, companies can “close” certain floors on low attendance days and reduce heating/cooling, utilities, and cleaning costs for those areas. All employees coming in on a low attendance day are assigned desks on open floors upon arrival.

     

More information

 

For more insights on intelligently rightsizing your space, download our Rightsize Right eguide.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Workplace teams work hard to get the balance right between resource types to create office harmony and ensure maximum productivity. But traditional “rules of thumb” like deck-to-employee rations and meeting spaces per hundred employees are no longer valid in a hybrid work world. Only by understanding actual resource utilization and the percent of time resources are used can real estate teams define the optimal mix of resources. 

Further, there are unique challenges for meeting space planning in the “new hybrid normal.” By tracking the utilization of these resources vs. capacity and the relative appeal of different meeting resource types, workplace leaders can define the perfect set of spaces to maximize productive collaboration. 

XY Sense solution:  Area Sensors

 

Essential metrics and reports

  • Percent Utilization of Collaboration Spaces per Floor/Team Area
  • Percentage of Time Resource Types are Used
  • Percentage of Time Individual Resources are Used
  • Percent Fullness When Resource Types are in Use
  • Peak Days/Times of Utilization for Each Resource Type

     

How to optimize fit-out mix (balance of desks, meeting rooms, amenities)

 

  1. The first step in optimizing fit-out is understanding the current utilization rate for different types of workspace, like desks, collaboration areas, and meeting rooms. When XY Sense Sensors are first deployed in your locations, your XY Sense team will work with you to map all your workspaces. Because XY Sense Sensors are accurate to within one foot (35cm), you can measure utilization at the individual desk or space level and get insights on groups of same-type resources. Pre-built reports in the XY Sense Insights Platform make accessing these data points and insights easy. 
  2. By comparing utilization rates by workspace type, you can determine which types of space are underutilized and which are in short supply. Examine utilization levels across time, by day of the week and hour in the day, to help ensure you have resources available in the busiest times.
  3. In the return-to-office/hybrid workplace environment, organizations often find that the historic ratios they used for allocating individual workstations and meeting spaces no longer align with how their team works. Most companies devote 80% or more of their workspaces to individual desks or cubes. In a hybrid work world, some companies find that people spend more time collaborating with others during their in-office days. That change in work patterns can make it worthwhile to change fit-out ratios to increase the allocation for collaborative meeting rooms and areas. 
  4. Our recent Global Workplace Utilization Index found that, on average, 36% of desks sit completely unused in a typical office since the return to office (RTO). An additional 29% were utilized three hours or less each day. Just 14% were utilized more than five hours per day. By contrast, meeting rooms for two persons or more were utilized 90% of the time. Every organization has unique patterns, and fit-out should be adjusted to reflect those patterns. Alter the fit-out ratios in your office to its unique work patterns. This will make your workplaces more productive and ensure that people have the space types they need when they come in.

     

More information

For more ideas on environmental enhancement, download our workplace experience solution brief.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

With the return-to-office and hybrid work rules, many facilities and team areas are minimally occupied some or all of the time. When employees work in spaces where most desks are unused, the “ghost town” environment hurts productivity and the workplace’s vibe. By analyzing the utilization of resources in a facility/floor/work area, real estate teams can pinpoint over- and under-utilized spaces and make changes to correct the situation.

 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

 

Essential metrics and reports

  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Each Space Type
  • Team’s Percent of Time Each Space Type is Used
  • Team’s Percent Fullness When Used
  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Individual Resources (desks, Meeting Rooms)
  • Occupancy Count Per Floor/Zone

How to use workplace sensors and analytics to address a lack of workplace vibe in offices, floors, and team areas

 

  1. Companies need to periodically assess the utilization rate for different types of workspace, like desks, collaboration areas, and meeting rooms. When XY Sense Sensors are first deployed in your locations, your XY Sense team will work with you to map all your workspaces. Because XY Sense Sensors are accurate to within one foot (35cm), you can measure utilization at the individual desk or space level and get insights on the utilization level for groups of same-type resources. Pre-built reports in the XY Sense Insights Platform make accessing these data points and insights easy. 
  2. Once you have the baseline data, look for locations, areas, days of the week, and hours in a day when workplace utilization rates are low. It can be helpful to set a target level of utilization that creates the desired collective energy. 
  3. Then, examine your space to pinpoint areas and times where the utilization level is well below a desirable level. In our recent Global Workplace Utilization Index, 36% of desks sit completely unused in a typical office since the return to office (RTO). An additional 29% are utilized three hours or less each day. Only 14% were utilized more than five hours per day. In environments where many desks sit empty, the low-energy environment cuts individual and team productivity.
  4. Now it’s time to consider your options. There are several strategies to consider to address the ghost areas in your office. If you can rightsize your space, you can concentrate your people in a smaller area and improve that sense of a “productive hive” of activity. Concentrating people can still make sense if you cannot reduce leased space because of long-term agreements. For example, you can consolidate people on fewer floors and try to sublease your excess space. Your consolidated space can use (smaller) dedicated team areas or move to an agile seating scheme like hot-desking, in which employees are assigned desks when they enter your space. 
  5. Consider your weekly utilization patterns. In the hybrid work world, many companies find that their XY Sense Sensor data shows low utilization levels on certain days of the week. Agile seating strategies can help ensure that your people sit in buzzy, product environments every day they come in. Many companies are exploring floor balancing, an approach that opens and closes floors based on expected attendance that day. On midweek days when attendance is higher, they open all floors. On Mondays and Fridays, when attendance is lower, they open a subset of floors that concentrate workers to create the right vibe.
  6. Remember that the right occupancy level for maximum productivity can vary by organization and team. Some roles like HR and Marketing often benefit from having higher occupancy in their areas. By contrast, Finance and IT are often better served sitting in areas with a lower density. Leverage the data in your XY Sense Insights Platform to experiment and optimize density for your organization’s unique needs. Employee survey data can also be helpful here to aid in formulating strategies and optimizations to create the perfect vibe for every team.

More information

 

For more insights on proven rightsizing strategies, download our Rightsize Right eguide.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Workplace leaders are the biggest evangelists for the power of a well-planned and appointed office to create a more pleasing and productive worker experience. Understanding an office’s utilization and usage patterns can provide the insight necessary to optimize it for maximum satisfaction. Often, worker survey data are used to measure the effectiveness of these initiatives. However, surveys cannot help you accurately understand current usage patterns. For accurate utilization insights, you need occupancy sensors and analytics.

XY Sense solution: Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Percent Utilization of Collaboration Spaces and Amenities Spaces Per Office/Floor/Area
  • % Time Collaboration Spaces and Amenity Spaces are Used 
  • % Fullness of Collaboration Spaces and Amenities Spaces
  • Peak Days/ Times for Collaboration Spaces and Amenities Spaces Utilization

How to use workplace sensors and analytics to empower human-centered workplace design

  1. The first step is to identify the utilization rate for different types of workspace, like desks, collaboration areas, and meeting rooms. This gives you critical insight into what your workers find useful and valuable. When XY Sense Sensors are first deployed in your locations, your XY Sense team will work with you to map all your workspaces. Because XY Sense Sensors are accurate to within one foot (35cm), you can measure utilization at the individual desk or space level and get insights on the utilization level for groups of same-type resources. Pre-built reports in the XY Sense Insights Platform make accessing these data points and insights easy. 
  2. Once you have the baseline data, examine your spaces for areas with low or excessively high utilization levels. In environments with empty desks, the low-energy environment takes a hit to individual and team productivity. Similarly, areas with excessive occupancy make it hard for employees to focus and get work done, harming workplace productivity and engagement. 
  3. Next, consider how utilization varies by day. In the hybrid work world, many companies find that their XY Sense Sensor data shows low utilization levels on certain days of the week. Agile seating strategies can help ensure that your people sit in buzzy, product environments every day they come in. Many companies are exploring floor balancing, an approach that opens and closes floors based on expected attendance that day. On midweek days when attendance is higher, they open all floors. On Mondays and Fridays, when attendance is lower, they open a subset of floors that concentrate workers to create the right vibe.
  4. Remember that the right occupancy level for maximum productivity can vary by organization and team. Some roles like HR and Marketing often benefit from having higher occupancy in their areas. By contrast, Finance and IT are often better served sitting in areas with a lower density. Leverage the data in your XY Sense Insights Platform to experiment and optimize density for your organization’s unique needs. Employee survey data can also be helpful here to aid in formulating strategies and optimizations to create the perfect vibe for every team.

More information

For more ideas on environmental enhancement, download our workplace experience solution brief.

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Nothing is more frustrating than being compelled to come into an office and finding no place to sit or meet. One key issue is “no-shows” when resources are booked but unused. Integrating real-time workplace analytics with a company’s resource booking tools allows you to set policies like releasing reserved space after ten minutes of disuse and power more effective agile workplace strategies. 

 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors and Pre-built XY Sense API Integrations with Leading Resource Booking Platforms

 

Essential metrics and reports

  • Percent Utilization of Each Resource/Space Type
  • Difference in Utilization at Peak and Non-Peak Times

How to use workplace sensors and analytics to reduce workplace friction (e.g., shortages of meeting space or desks)

 

  1. Begin by analyzing your space’s utilization rate of desks, collaboration areas, enclosed meeting rooms, and other resource categories. With XY Sense, you can examine the utilization of every individual resource; when we first deploy XY Sense Sensors in your space, we carefully map all resources. Then, we can track utilization in real time because our positioning data are accurate to within one foot (30 cm).
  2. Then, get your platforms working together. The XY Sense Occupancy API integrates XY Sense data with resource booking tools. XY Sense has pre-built integrations with many leading platforms, including AppSpace, Calven, and GoSpace AI
  3. With your platforms integrated, XY Sense’s real-time occupancy data will inform your booking software with resource utilization states in real time. For example, setting business rules allows you to reduce or eliminate ghost bookings where space is unreserved. For example, a rule can cancel a booking if the room goes unused for ten minutes of the booking block. This frees up that space for others, who will no longer be without a place to meet. 
  4. If you leverage an agile seating plan that assigns desks when employees arrive in the office, having XY Sense Area Sensor real-time utilization data integrated into your booking solution can cancel pre-bookings of seats if they are unused. This enables you to accommodate more people and dramatically reduce the risk of employees arriving and finding no seat available.

More information

 

Get more insight into agile workplace design and how it can help reduce workplace friction. 

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Optimizing meeting space to meet company needs is critical to portfolio planning. By integrating real-time occupancy data with a company’s booking platform, the workplace team can get a precise view of utilization by space type and the optimal sizes for collaboration spaces. Many companies use such integrations to learn if they have the right mix of spaces and types for typical team meetings.

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors and Pre-built XY Sense API Integrations with Leading Resource Booking Platforms

Essential metrics and reports

Real-Time Utilization of Collaboration Spaces and Desks

How to Track Actual Availability/Usage of Collaboration Spaces for Portfolio Planning

Start by analyzing current utilization rates for enclosed meeting rooms, informal collaboration spaces, banquettes, and any other resource categories in your space. XY Sense tracks the utilization of every individual resource in real time and over time, then consolidates the data in figures for resource types. When our team first deploys XY Sense Sensors in your space, we carefully map all resources. Then, because our positioning data are accurate to within one foot (30 cm), we can track utilization in real time.

Integrate your XY Sense data with your resource booking tools using the XY Sense Occupancy API. XY Sense has pre-built integrations with many leading platforms, including AppSpace, Calven, and GoSpace AI

With your platforms integrated, XY Sense can inform your booking software with the actual utilization in real time. By setting business rules, you can reduce or eliminate ghost bookings where space is reserved but not used. For example, a rule can cancel a booking if the room goes unused for ten minutes of the booking block. 

Data from XY Sense also tracks the number of people using meeting spaces in real time. This data is helping many of our clients make better decisions about the right capacity for meeting spaces and determine whether the “new” types of collaboration space, like open areas and banquettes, are being used and appreciated by team members. By analyzing the number of people using a space versus its capacity, you can determine if changing the size of some spaces makes sense. 

It can also be helpful to compare your utilization and other data to industry benchmarks. In our recent Workplace Utilization Index report of global workplace utilization benchmarks, we revealed that most meetings are attended by 2-3 people, regardless of the size of meeting spaces. Insights like this are helping companies make decisions like breaking up multiple large “board-room-like” rooms into smaller units.

More information 

Agile workplace design best practices can help provide more insight. 

Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Smart facilities management and operational excellence

Getting the space and resources right is only part of the challenge for making a productive, efficient, and inviting environment. Building conditions and environment play a crucial role in cultivating an ideal workspace. 

Managed well, workspace operations also drive maximum efficiency with utilities, cleaning, and other expenses, ensure employee safety and well-being, and help businesses achieve ESG goals by keeping their carbon footprint to an absolute minimum. With workplace analytics, facilities and workplace teams understand how every area and resource is being used so they can make intelligent decisions. 

Many companies are searching for ways to reduce utility expenses. It’s a worldwide concern: With global annual expenditure on office buildings at US$583B+ and office utilization remaining steady at ~30%, we’re on track to waste potentially $400B in 2023 alone. Utility savings have been a particular focus in EMEA because some countries have experienced 65+% increases in energy costs due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Understanding how your office space is really being used is the first step in reversing this wastage and creating high-engagement, high-performance workplaces.

XY Sense Products: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors and XY Sense Real-Time Utilization Data API

Essential metrics and reports

Floor and Enclosed Area Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed Area Utilization by Hour of Day
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Hour of Day

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to reduce workplace utility expenses and energy costs

  1. Many workplace teams begin by setting a target for their cost reduction efforts, like cutting 15% of total energy expenses. Sometimes, that target comes from your finance team. 
  1. Determine your total energy expense and expense by type using data from your building management and HVAC systems. If you don’t already have access to this information, contact your company’s FP&A finance team.
  2. Using data from XY Sense Area Sensors and Entry Sensors, analyze your occupancy by floor and enclosed area by day of week and time of day. Based on this information, you may be able to set new utility policies and plans. For example, many companies time air conditioning to pre-pandemic utilization patterns, turning service on hours before anyone actually comes into the office. Additionally, hybrid organizations often discover that they are heating and cooling their entire offices on Mondays and Fridays when occupancy tends to be very low. Flexible seating on some or all days can enable you to concentrate in-office employees on fewer floors so that services can be reduced on other floors. 
  3. With some BMS and HVAC systems, you can integrate real-time occupancy data to help trigger service levels. For example, reducing heating and cooling in spaces where no one is present. Since XY Sense is an API-first platform, integrating data and insights with other systems is relatively straightforward
  4. After making changes to your utility policies and practices, compare the new level of utility costs to the baseline level to quantify the total and percentage savings. If your office is mostly empty on Mondays and Fridays, an agile strategy that allows you to assign seats on a limited number of floors can help you reduce utility and heating-cooling costs on the disused floors. This is called floor balancingMore information

You can find more information on agile strategies and floor balancing in this blog post
Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies

Utilizing data from occupancy sensors presents a powerful opportunity to optimize and curtail office cleaning expenses. Data from these sensors allows a precise understanding of when and where spaces are most frequently used. Cleaning schedules can then be tailored to address high-traffic areas while minimizing unnecessary cleaning in underutilized zones. Real-time occupancy data also enables just-in-time cleaning interventions. Janitorial staff can be deployed based on actual demand, enhancing responsiveness and avoiding redundant cleaning. 

XY Sense Products: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

Floor and Enclosed Area Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed Area Utilization by Hour of Day
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Hour of Day

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to reduce workplace cleaning expenses

  1. Many corporate workplace teams start by establishing a cost reduction objective. At other times, this cost reduction goal is determined in collaboration with Finance.
  2. The next step is determining the cleaning costs incurred in a location during a defined period, like a month or year. 
  3. Then, you analyze your occupancy by floor and enclosed area by day of week and time of day. This data, easily obtained in pre-built reports in the XY Sense Analytics Platform, will help you identify the activity level to help set appropriate cleaning schedules by area. 
  4. Explore next steps available to your business. Most companies vary their cleaning schedules based on ongoing usage patterns. But a growing number have established a just-in-time cleaning regimen, which schedules cleaning services based on actual usage.

More information

Learn more about occupancy planning best practices by downloading our solution brief
Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Many companies have established environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards to set more responsible and ethical business practices. Reducing carbon footprint is often a core element of these plans. Occupancy analytics helps companies reduce their carbon footprint by informing better decisions on how much office space they retain, ways to moderate utility and other operating expenses, and approaches to reduce the production of e-waste and toxic waste from sources like disposable batteries. 

XY Sense Products: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors and XY Sense Real-Time Utilization Data API

Essential metrics and reports

Floor and Enclosed Area Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed area utilization by Hour of Day
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Hour of Day

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to reduce your workplace carbon footprint

  1. The process usually begins when the corporate responsibility or ESG team sets a carbon reduction target for the business. 
  2. Determine your workplace carbon footprint and tons produced in a period, like during a calendar year. Your ESG team may have already made this calculation to set its target. Many resources are available to help you estimate carbon production based on office area, local climate, number of floors, and the source of electric generation in your area. 
  3. From there, you need to assess your workspace’s current workplace utilization. This will likely vary considerably from the capacity of your workspace. This is because, while most companies have mandated a return to office, employee resistance and hybrid work schedules mean that current utilization levels stand at about 50% of pre-pandemic levels. With accurate real-time occupancy data from XY Sense Entry Sensors and Area Sensors, you can gain critical insight into current utilization levels for your location and individual floors. Armed with data from your occupancy analytics platform, you can study occupancy by floor, enclosed areas, day, and time to identify the usage patterns of your space. 
  4. If you can change your leasing agreements in the near future, explore ways to reduce your total office size to reflect current utilization patterns. Reduced space has a cascading effect on utility, cleaning, and other activities that generate environmental carbon. 
  5. Even when you cannot change your workplace size, there are many other ways to cut carbon emissions proactively. Formulate and implement strategies based on workplace utilization insights to reduce utility usage. For example, cut air conditioning to floors that are empty on certain days of the week based on your hybrid work policy. If large areas of your office have low occupancy levels at certain times and on certain days, consider setting a flexible seating arrangement on some or all in-office days. With flexible seating, you can concentrate employees on low utilization days to a single floor or area, reducing utilities and other services in unoccupied areas. This is called floor balancing.
  6. If your BMS and HVAC systems can consume data and deliver utility services based on triggers, integrate your real-time utilization data into these platforms. 
  7. Other activities like company food service activities also produce carbon. You can identify additional carbon savings by rightsizing these to the current workplace utilization levels.
  8. Compare utility costs and usage to your baseline to pinpoint the total carbon saved. Continue to analyze workplace occupancy and utilization patterns to find new ways to cut carbon production.

More information

Learn more about floor-balancing strategies to reduce costs and carbon footprint
Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

In certain industries like advanced financial services and tech, companies offer employees perks like free breakfast and lunch to maximize in-office time. The challenge is that, on average, workplace utilization is running at just 50% of pre-pandemic levels. Further, hybrid work rules are creating fluctuating occupancy and demand. As a result, many companies find extraordinarily high wastage of food and other “consumables” because they do not align purchasing with actual workplace occupancy. In addition to rightsizing food purchases, many businesses are committing to reducing food waste

XY Sense Products: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

Floor Utilization by Day of Week
Floor Utilization by Hour of Day

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to reduce unnecessary waste of provided food and other employee perks

  1. Many corporate workplace teams start by establishing a cost reduction objective. At other times, this cost reduction goal is determined in collaboration with Finance.
  2. The next step is determining the food and/or other consumables costs incurred in a location during a defined period, like a month or year. 
  3. Then, analyze your occupancy by floor, day of the week, and time of the day. XY Sense Entry Sensors and Area Sensors constantly monitor your workspace to provide precise data for your analysis. This data, easily obtained in pre-built XY Sense Insights Platform reports,  will help you tell purchasing and food service teams of expected demand.
  4. Share the data with your operations and food service teams so they can better plan for demand.
  5. Provide periodic updates to keep food preparation in line with expected demand.

More information

Learn more about occupancy planning best practices by downloading our solution brief.
Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

Some companies are committed to net zero emissions targets. Achieving these goals requires significant progress on multiple fronts. Occupancy analytics helps companies reduce their carbon footprint by informing better decisions on how much office space they retain and how to moderate utility and other operating expenses. 

XY Sense products: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors 

Essential metrics and reports

Floor and Enclosed Area Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed Area Utilization by Hour of Day
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Day of Week
Floor and Enclosed Area Percentage Utilization by Hour of Day

How to use occupancy sensors and analytics to reduce your workplace carbon footprint

  1. The process usually begins when the corporate responsibility or ESG team sets the timing for the carbon reduction target for the business. 
  2. Determine your workplace carbon footprint and tons produced in a period, like during a calendar year. Your ESG team may have already calculated this to set its target. Many resources are available to help you estimate carbon production based on office area, local climate, number of floors, and the source of electric generation in your area. 
  3. From there, you need to assess your workspace’s current workplace utilization patterns. This will likely vary considerably from the capacity of your workspace. This is because, while most companies have mandated a return to office, employee resistance and hybrid work schedules mean that current utilization levels stand at about 50% of pre-pandemic levels. With accurate real-time occupancy data from XY Sense Entry Sensors and Area Sensors, you can gain critical insight into current utilization levels for your location and individual floors. Armed with data from your occupancy analytics platform, you can study occupancy by floor, enclosed areas, day, and time to identify the usage patterns of your space. 
  4. If you can change your leasing agreements in the near future, explore ways to reduce your total office size to reflect current utilization patterns. Reduced space has a cascading effect on utility, cleaning, and other activities that generate environmental carbon. 
  5. Even when you cannot change your workplace size, there are many other ways to cut carbon emissions proactively. Formulate and implement strategies based on workplace utilization insights to reduce utility usage. For example, cut air conditioning to floors that are empty on certain days of the week based on your hybrid work policy. 
  6. If large areas of your office have low occupancy levels at certain times and on certain days, consider setting a flexible seating arrangement on some or all in-office days. With flexible seating, you can concentrate employees on low utilization days to a single floor or area, reducing utilities and other services in unoccupied areas. This is called floor balancing.
  7. If your BMS and HVAC systems can consume data and deliver utility services based on triggers, integrate your real-time utilization data into these platforms. 
  8. Other activities like company food service activities produce carbon. You can identify additional carbon savings by rightsizing these to the current workplace utilization levels.
  9. Compare utility costs and usage to your baseline to pinpoint the total carbon saved. Continue to analyze workplace occupancy and utilization patterns to find new ways to cut carbon production.

More information

Learn more about floor-balancing strategies to reduce costs and carbon footprint
Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

To control costs and reduce future e-waste, many companies are implementing processes to evaluate new equipment purchases more carefully.  With rich occupancy and workplace data from a great analytics platform, real estate teams can assess current usage versus capacity, make wise decisions, and have the proof necessary to show business leaders which requests make business sense. 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Each Space Type
  • Team’s Percent of Time Each Space Type is Used
  • Team’s Percent Fullness When Used
  • Team’s Percent Utilization of Individual Resources (desks, Meeting Rooms)

Occupancy Count Per Floor/Zone

How to reduce or validate new equipment purchases and opex wastage

  1. Develop a control system in which teams and individuals must submit equipment requests for approval. 
  2. Your XY Sense Entry Sensors and Area Sensors provide critical data to understand total workplace utilization and utilization rates for individual resources and classes or resources. 
  3. Leverage occupancy data from the XY Sense Insights Platform to measure utilization of equipment by type (e.g., laptops, monitors, video conferencing equipment. Your XY Sense Insights Platform makes it easy to measure existing percentage utilization versus capacity in aggregate and by floor, day-of-week, and time-of-day. All these data points are available in pre-built reports.
  4. By measuring the difference between capacity and actual utilization, you can do a preliminary assessment of the need for the requested items.
  5. From there, you can use XY Sense data for specific resource utilization to identify equipment you can potentially redeploy. XY Sense pinpoints the location of individuals within 1 foot (30 cm), so it measures the occupancy of specific resources like desks and other workpoints in real-time. 
  6. Equipped with this information, you can make an informed decision about the need for an equipment purchase and whether it makes sense to move or redeploy an underutilized resource.

More information

Learn more about occupancy planning best practices by downloading our solution brief.
Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

While pandemic occupancy policies and concerns have moderated worldwide, many companies want means to measure compliance with whatever procedures may be necessary. Precision occupancy analytics solutions can provide the data needed to monitor compliance. XY Sense, for example, can not only measure occupancy in real-time, but it also measures the location of individuals within 1 foot (30 cm). With these two data sets, companies have the insights they need to monitor compliance and act in real time when issues arise. 

XY Sense solution: Entry Sensors and Area Sensors

Essential metrics and reports

  • Real-time occupancy data for the facility
  • Real-time occupancy data for each floor
  • Real-time occupancy data for each floor area

How to ensure health and safety policy compliance

  1. Understanding the safe capacity of each facility, floor, and floor area is the starting point for a compliance and alerts system. Find out from your HR team the safety standards for your company. These standards may come from government bodies, health organizations, or your company’s policies.
  2. From there, you need to determine the safe occupancy level for each floor and area in your facility. Usually, standards can be (or already have been) defined based on the square meterage/footage of a floor or zone. 
  3. Additionally, the proximity of individuals to one another is also critical insight. An area large enough for ten people is unsafe if everyone stands or sits close together. The XY Sense Platform has built-in tools to monitor human locations in real time. When XY Sense Area Sensors are installed, we map all the resources in your workspace to monitor and report when specific collaboration areas or desks are occupied. You can set alerts to get notified when individuals or groups are not working in compliance with the policy. These real-time alerts are a critical element of a policy compliance initiative and are unavailable from most workplace sensor systems.
  4. Respond to alerts by reminding employees of the policy and, if necessary, reconfiguring your office layout to mitigate non-compliant behavior. Often, simple changes like posting maximum occupancy for conference rooms and reducing the number of chairs in meeting spaces can help reduce noncompliance problems.

More information

Learn more about occupancy planning best practices by downloading our solution brief.
Download our Buyers Guide to Workplace Utilization Technologies.

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We know you want to use office occupancy and utilization data to create awesome workplace experiences, not keep tags on your people. 

That’s why, XY Sense has been designed to only ever capture the XY coordinates of individuals relative to a sensor. 

We never capture photo images of people or personal information. And unlike some tag-based or under-the-desk sensor systems, XY Sense captures data passively about the space -never an individual.

 XY Sense makes it simple to capture the insights you need without intruding on your workforce.

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