How Occupancy Sensors Can Revolutionize Your Office Space

How Do Office Sensors Work?

Office sensors refer to a collection of sensor devices designed to collect data from the office surroundings.

Their primary objective is to detect even the slightest changes in the office environment and provide insights into factors such as air quality, room and desk utilization, and people presence.

This information is beneficial to organizations in optimizing their working environments, enabling them to visualize the availability of free and occupied desks in their office software and reduce office costs.

Office Sensor Types

Environmental sensors, light sensors, occupancy sensors, desk sensors, and visitor counting sensors are the five different categories into which office sensors can be categorized. In this article we will talk about 4 types of sensors.

Environmental Sensors

The prevalent type of office sensor is known as the environmental sensor, which tracks the office’s environmental conditions.

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This type of sensor monitors various factors, such as temperature, humidity, lighting, noise, and indoor air quality, to aid workplace management and guarantee that the office environment is maintained correctly to provide the best possible experience for employees.

Environmental sensors are also capable of tracking temperature changes in their proximity.

If an environmental sensor has temperature-monitoring capabilities and is linked to a central thermostat or HVAC system, it can take action if the temperature surpasses or falls below a specific temperature threshold.

Occupancy Sensors

An occupancy sensor is a type of sensor device that can be installed on a desk or in a room, such as a meeting room or phone booth, to measure utilization and occupancy levels.

By utilizing occupancy sensors, organizations can gain insights into how their office spaces are being used and optimize their usage without compromising the employee experience.

To get started with occupancy sensors, it is essential to be aware of the different features available in smart office occupancy sensors that monitor utilization and occupancy levels.

In this regard, there are various types of occupancy sensors available, and it is crucial to understand their features and select the most suitable one for your organization’s needs.

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More information on workplace utilization and occupancy sensors can be found in our article.

Light Sensors

Devices that detect visible light from a surrounding or a light source are called light sensors.

The output of these sensors is measured in lux, which is used to quantify illuminance, i.e., the area where the luminous flux is spread.

Light sensors can be used to monitor the brightness of a specific area in an office, which has practical applications for both the building tenant and the building owner.

For example, the tenant can identify the most suitable working environment that meets their needs, while the building owner can collect data on how lighting affects space utilization.

Desk Sensors

Desk sensors are a type of occupancy monitoring sensors that focus specifically on monitoring desk occupancy within an office.

There are various types of office desk sensors, but the most commonly used ones are based on passive infrared technology (PIR).

These desk sensors can be desk-mounted or ceiling-mounted, and some solutions require employees to carry a tag to monitor occupancy.

The following are the various types of desk sensors and how they work:

Thermal Sensors

Ceiling-mounted thermal sensors can detect body heat to determine the number of people in a given area through the use of computer algorithms.

By creating a grid of the monitored area, the occupancy can be visualized in a heatmap-style image. Compared to PIR sensors, thermal sensors can cover a larger area and offer the same level of privacy.

However, there are some drawbacks to using thermal sensors. They can be very expensive, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars per unit, which is much higher than PIR sensors that can cost around $50.

Additionally, each thermal sensor has a range of only 5-10 meters, requiring the installation of many sensors to cover a large office space, which can quickly add up in cost.

PIR Sensors

Ultra-wideband (UWB) and RFID sensors and tags provide another option for tracking occupancy in an office.

Users carry a small transmitter, which can be integrated into their badge, allowing receivers deployed in the space to triangulate the tag’s location. UWB is a newer and more accurate technology than RFID.

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Unlike passive sensors like PIR and thermal sensors, UWB and RFID require active participation from employees who carry the transmitters.

However, similar to thermal sensors, the range of these systems is limited to 5-10m, requiring multiple receivers to cover a large office space. As the market for these systems is limited, the cost can quickly add up.

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RFID And UWB – based Systems

Passive infrared (PIR) sensors are small sensors mounted under desks to monitor desk usage and occupancy.

These sensors are triggered by motion and movement, and when no changes are detected, the status is set to zero, indicating a vacant desk.

Conversely, when motion or heat is detected, the status changes to one, indicating that the desk is in use.

The data collected by PIR sensors is based on heat and movement and cannot be used to identify the person using the desk.

Therefore, these sensors are GDPR compliant and protect the user’s anonymity. PIR sensors are also relatively inexpensive and easy to install, with installation taking just a few seconds in the best-case scenario, making them suitable for larger office spaces.

Is It Necessary For Your Workplace To Have Office Sensors?

In conclusion, occupancy sensors offer a revolutionary solution for optimizing office spaces and increasing the productivity of employees.

These sensors can gather data on occupancy levels, desk usage, and environmental conditions in real-time, providing insights that can help companies identify areas for improvement and cost savings.

With the right occupancy sensors in place, businesses can create a better working environment that maximizes employee comfort, satisfaction, and productivity.

By investing in these innovative technologies, organizations can remain competitive, enhance workplace efficiency, and ultimately drive success in the long term.

Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon