XY Sense is featured in The Australian: Melbourne start-up XY Sense is planning the offices of the future

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XY Sense was recently profiled by David Swan, Technology Editor of The Australian.

In the article, The Australian explores the way that the pandemic and two years of working remotely has forced every worker and company in the world to reassess what ‘the office’ actually means to them, their workplace culture, productivity and balance sheet. 

  • Is the idea of having a big office tower or shiny HQ in a CBD still valid?
  • How are companies and employees approaching their return to office? 
  • How should workplaces actually be designed in 2022? 
  • And what role can technology like XY Sense play in charting this new unknown? 



Explore highlight snippets below:

Launched in the middle of the pandemic, the Melbourne-based tech company describes itself as offering “Google Analytics for commercial real estate”. It produces sensors that capture real-time occupancy and people movement data to help executives better monitor and plan their office ­spaces.

XY Sense’s data shows that Australian businesses are still facing an uphill battle to lure workers back to the office, with office utilisation starting the year at an ­average of only 15 per cent and increasing now to 37 per cent, where it has plateaued.

David Swan, The Australian

Accounting software outfit Xero has deployed XY Sense’s sensors throughout its new Melbourne office, which it opened last month. Joel Oldridge, Xero’s head of workplace experience, said Xero had particularly focused on creating physical spaces that did not necessarily feel like an office. The company was forced to rethink its real estate plans on the fly amid the pandemic.

“We have breakout spaces that feel like a cafe environment and are a bit more relaxed, where you can grab a coffee and chat to someone and maybe take a phone call, and then there are collaboration spaces for working on shared projects,”

“For us to have this real-time data, it allows us to see how many people are coming in on a given day, where they are working, what desks are being used and we can then make better decisions about our offices into the future.”

Joel Oldridge, Head of Workplace Experience, Xero


“The No.1 burning problem for many large enterprises is that real estate is their second or third-biggest expense. They spend so much on it but they have no clear idea of how their spaces are actually being used and what their people are doing,” XY Sense co-founder Alex Birch said.

“For many businesses this is an expense that is millions or hundreds of millions of dollars that you’re effectively paying for empty space.”

“The sentiment we are seeing across all the workplaces we work with is that they are keen to get people back, not in the five-day-a-week format, but getting the ­social connection and collaboration back, which is so important. You’ve got to make sure you’ve got the overlap of the right teams at the right time, and make sure those who are dialling in have an equal experience, and getting all of that right requires new technology and a focus on making a great experience.”

Alex Birch, CoFounder & CEO, XY Sense


Interested in learning more about how XY Sense could support your own return to office?  Check out these  resources.

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