79% of Businesses Track Office Attendance

Office attendance

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the landscape of office attendance has undergone significant transformation, prompting companies to reevaluate their policies and practices regarding employees’ physical presence in the workplace. The post-pandemic era has sparked extensive discussions on the optimal balance between remote work and in-office collaboration, leading some companies to mandate a return to the office while others adopt hybrid models with designated office days. Amidst these shifts, a pressing challenge arises the need for accurate and efficient methods of tracking employee attendance. As organizations navigate the complexities of hybrid work arrangements, ensuring visibility into who is in the office and when becomes paramount for fostering productivity, collaboration, and resource optimization.

Required Office Attendance

Commercial real estate services and investment company CBRE conducted a Spring 2023 U.S. Office Occupiers Sentiment Survey with 207 corporate real estate executives. According to the survey, 65% of respondents reported that their companies require employees to return to the office, while only 30% maintain voluntary office attendance. Additionally, the survey found that 71% of respondents from financial/professional services companies require employees to return to the office for more than half of the week. In comparison, 56% of respondents from technology companies require attendance for less than half of the week.

79% of Companies Will Track Office Attendance in 2024

According to a survey by, 79% of the participating companies are tracking employee office attendance. Additionally, 91% of the companies will require employees to work from the office at least one day a month, with 88% planning to definitely (70%) or probably (18%) track office attendance.

Since the beginning of the year, the pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca has introduced digital staff monitoring in Sweden. The company records how often employees connect to Astra Zeneca’s network to understand their presence in the office. According to an article in Dagens Industri, the company already monitors staff in the UK and USA.

AstraZeneca is not alone in tightening control over office attendance. According to the Financial Times, consulting and auditing giant EY has recently begun monitoring the office attendance of its UK employees. The company’s hybrid working policy requires employees to be in the office at least two days a week, and at least 50% of some teams still need to meet this requirement. Therefore, by monitoring attendance, EY aims to ensure compliance with the hybrid working guidelines.

Many organizations consider office attendance monitoring a crucial component of effective return-to-office (RTO) or hybrid work model management strategies. By tracking employee attendance, companies seek to ensure high productivity levels, meet deadlines, and efficiently utilize office resources. Some big tech companies like Meta Platforms, TikTok, and Google leverage swipe badge data to ensure compliance with return-to-office policies.

So it is clear that employers essentially want their employees back in the offices, to the extent that some are prepared to reward employees for doing so. An international study by the consulting firm KPMG reports that 87% of respondents are likely to reward employees who come into the office with favorable assignments, promotions, or salary increases.

Monitoring Tools

According to a survey by, the majority of companies that are monitoring office attendance plan to use badge swipe (62%) data. Other additional methods that companies plan to use to track attendance include manual tracking (50%), Wi-Fi connection monitoring (50%), occupancy sensors (43%), and desk sensors (38%).

Badge swipes or office key cards typically involve employees swiping a physical badge or card through a reader to gain access to a building or specific areas within the building. They can also be a convenient and accurate method to record employee arrivals and departures. Some of these systems provide real-time data integration into attendance tracking systems, allowing for efficient

Monitoring office attendance

monitoring. Additionally, badge swipe systems are easily scalable, making them suitable for organizations of various sizes.

Manual tracking involves organizations utilizing traditional methods like sign-in sheets or time clock systems for recording attendance. While these approaches provide a reliable means of tracking team attendance, particularly in smaller or less technologically advanced settings, they rely on manual input and supervision, which can lead to human error.

Wi-Fi connections allow organizations to leverage existing wireless infrastructure to monitor employee presence. This method offers an automated solution that requires minimal additional hardware and provides real-time data on employee connectivity within the office premises.

Occupancy sensors (also known as motion detectors) are an advanced technology for tracking occupancy levels within the workplace. These sensors can provide insights into workspace utilization and traffic patterns, empowering organizations to optimize office layouts and resource allocation using data-driven insights.

Desk sensors provide detailed information on individual desk usage and occupancy, allowing organizations to understand employee work habits and preferences. This insight enables organizations to optimize desk allocation and space utilization for maximum efficiency.

The findings from these surveys and real-world implementations underscore the pervasive influence of office attendance monitoring in contemporary corporate environments. From traditional badge swipe systems to cutting-edge occupancy sensors, companies are deploying diverse tracking tools to ensure compliance with return-to-office policies and optimize resource utilization. As organizations strive to balance remote work flexibility and operational efficiency, the evolution of office attendance monitoring reflects a broader shift towards data-driven decision-making and adaptability in the modern workplace. Looking ahead, the continued refinement of tracking technologies and the integration of employee preferences will be pivotal in shaping the future of office attendance policies and fostering a productive, engaged workforce.

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