Hybrid work environments have put more stress on occupancy rate of offices and buildings. As more employees work from home, at least on a part-time basis, a lot of space can become underutilized. Therefore employers are becoming more concerned about occupancy rates, and how to measure them effectively. 

Occupancy rate, or percent occupancy, is the amount of space your business is occupying, determined by dividing occupied square footage by your unoccupied square footage.

It is important to optimize your businesses’ office space without sacrificing your employees’ wellbeing and experience. And one way to keep track of occupancy rates and use of office space are occupancy sensors. They can help managers measure and optimize all aspects of the office, not only helping to create cost-efficiencies but also improve employees’ office experience.

Workplace management with sensor technology

One of the top areas where occupancy sensor technology can help is by improving desk and room booking software. When an employee is currently occupying a room, it can be taken out of the pool of free spaces for last minute meetings, when they leave the room can be booked again. 

More importantly, they can help organizations measure how their office space is used, to make it fit in more with employees needs. Are the common areas underutilised? Perhaps they’re too out of the way. Are desks often abandoned for other areas of the office? Consider if your employees want more social and flexible working spaces. 

Many advantages of these sensors also center around energy efficiency. By reducing light and heat when no one is in the office, these sensors can help you save costs and make your office more sustainable. 

Secondary uses of occupancy sensor technology

Enhance security: when used in conjunction with other technology, such as a fob system that controls who has access to which parts of the building, it can enhance security of these areas. 

Schedule optimization: instead of asking employees to book a desk, or mark a calendar when they’re in the office, which can sometimes become a barrier to them coming in – you can monitor business without employees having to log their time. 

Improve cleaning: give insight to cleaning teams which areas need to be cleaned more often and when. 

Important things to consider with occupancy sensor technology

Occupancy sensors are different from motion detectors in that they not only track movement, but they also use technology, such as passive infrared light, to determine if there are people in the space. 

When using technology sensor organizations should ensure they have correct data protection policies around these sensors. Any data collected should also be anonymous to ensure privacy of employees.