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VergeSense: Occupancy Intelligence for a True Understanding of the Workspace 

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Hybrid work is here to stay, prompting CRE leaders and workplace designers to address a burning question: how do you create commute-worthy work environments while minimizing real estate costs? 

To answer this, CRE leaders need to gain a “true understanding” of their space, amidst inconsistent and constantly changing occupancy rates. True understanding, a term coined by VergeSense, a JLL Spark portfolio company, is calculated by: 

Person Count + Active Occupancy + Passive Occupancy 

Employers have historically relied on the first two – person count and active occupancy – to make decisions about how they design and manage their space. These data points, typically captured by badge, WiFi and manual survey data, used to be sufficient, especially when assigned seating was the norm. In today’s flexible-working environment, measuring occupancy while trying to reduce real estate costs is more nuanced than ever. 

The third and missing piece of the equation – passive occupancy – measures objects that are occupying a space, rather than just people. For example, if you leave the desk you’ve reserved for the day to grab a cup of coffee and plan to return, you’re still technically occupying the space, albeit passively, and the occupancy data should reflect that. 

Founded in 2017, VergeSense, the world’s first and only Occupancy Intelligence Platform, is built upon optical sensor technology that anonymously and accurately captures data about people count, occupancy, AND objects within spaces with 95% accuracy. VergeSense aims to help employers get a true understanding of their real estate footprint and maximize the potential of their workspaces. 

So how are clients using VergeSense today, and why is JLL Spark so bullish on occupancy intelligence?  

Fresenius Medical Care employs 67,000 people across two buildings in their headquarters near Boston, MA. They suspected their space was being underutilized and wanted to consolidate employees into one building to save costs. VergeSense’s Occupancy Intelligence Platform was used to gather data on space usage, revealing that the smaller building was only 20% utilized. The company decided to terminate the lease for one of the buildings early, resulting in $6 million in annual cost avoidance. Fresenius, like many VergeSense customers, is now using occupancy intelligence to make fact-based decisions and optimize its real estate investments. 

Another customer – this time a Fortune 200 global bank – saved $2 million in cleaning costs by integrating occupancy data from the VergeSense platform into their computer-aided facilities management, or CAFM, system and only cleaning spaces that had been occupied that day.  

It’s no surprise that occupancy intelligence is transforming how companies approach workplace design. By utilizing the occupancy intelligence framework and employing accurate and anonymous data to make informed decisions, teams can optimize their real estate investments and achieve maximum efficiency. Leveraging smart building capabilities, VergeSense is a solution in JLL Spark’s portfolio that enables our clients to balance workplace experience and cost efficiency for a true understanding of their space. 

Written by Meagan Riley, growth principal at JLL Spark

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