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Workplace sensors reveal office occupancy at highest levels since March 2020

Office occupancy rates have now hit their highest levels since March 2020, according to Freespace, a workplace technology solution that anonymously captures space usage in offices worldwide.

Data from Freespace sensors already show an 8 per cent increase in the number of offices returning to work in the first fortnight of September compared to the entire month of August. Furthermore, the use of all space types within the office have also have increased giving a sense that some normality is returning to the workplace.

Freespace’s data from the first half of September shows:

  • Globally, 38 per cent of offices where Freespace sensors are deployed are returning to work, an increase of 8 per cent compared to August.
  • 16 per cent are a third full, an increase of 9 per cent compared to August. 
  • Global average office occupancy rates have already increased 3 per cent in September to 22 per cent. The highest rates since March 2020. 
  • The busiest office day of the week in Europe remains Thursday, whereas Monday & Tuesday are the busiest days for Asia & Australia.
  • The use of meeting rooms has already increased by 6 per cent in September to 26 per cent. 
  • The use of workstations has already increased by 4 per cent in September to 22 per cent.

Raj Krishnamurthy, Freespace CEO, commented: “With the shift to hybrid working, conversations over the past year between employee and employer have been dominated about what the office can offer the former that they can’t get at home. We always anticipated a sharp increase in the number of offices returning to work post-summer holidays but perhaps not as significant as this in such a short space of time.

“We had seen first-hand a number of clients install ‘pilot working labs’. These are areas in the workplace, supported by sensors, which are kitted out as an experimental workspace to anonymously monitor how people are behaving, such as the way they are moving or what work they are doing on a specific day. These labs could be one room, a floor, or an entire building depending on the size of the organisation. This has helped them establish how to configure their actual offices to support the results of the experiment and to safely integrate their employees back into the workplace, to which they are clearly doing at increasing rates.”

Freespace has so far deployed over 120,000 workplace sensors worldwide at major corporations, providing insights into working patterns and office utilisation, supporting the ‘return to work’ across 130 cities, in 36 countries, and five continents.

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About Sarah OBeirne

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