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Smart cities in action – IoT sensors arrived at offices

4 min

The sensorisation of the office, workstations and meeting rooms is now the hottest hot. The comfort factor of the work environment can be influenced by measuring the environment. “We continuously measure the temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide level at our Teollisuuskatu office in Helsinki,” says Telia Product Development Manager Arttu Aho.

High carbon dioxide level has direct correlation with work performance. Who would not have gotten sleepy in a meeting room during a long meeting?

“We have constant knowledge of whether the ventilation level is sufficient and whether it should be adjusted. Or whether it is too hot or cold,” says Arttu Aho. But that is not all. Telia has installed IoT sensors at desks and meeting rooms, as well.

“This way, we obtain plenty of interesting data on how much the various spaces in the building are being used. The employees can quickly and easily see what places of the building have vacant space and can quickly go to a free desk. The utilisation rate can be monitored in real-time,” Aho explains.


The Telia Office Presence package sensors can measure the real utilisation rate of office seats and provide the data for automated analysis. The desk utilisation rate is shown as a percentage, which can be viewed over various periods of time. The utilisation rate is also available as statistics, showing the sum total utilisation rate of all desks.

Telia workstations and meeting rooms use infrared sensors the size of a soap box. They are installed at the workstation under the desk with a double-sided adhesive. One sensor works with AA batteries for up to 5 years.

The motion sensor detects whether a person is present at work or not. The system’s user interface provides a one-glance overview of the number of seats available. Red colour means that the workstation is occupied while green indicates a vacant seat.


It is important to measure the air quality at offices because excessively high organic odour (VOC, volatile organic compound) and carbon dioxide concentrations can adversely impact health. For example, the VOC concentrations reflect the glues evaporating from the wall-to-wall carpets, compounds emitted from plastics and odorants. High VOC concentrations can manifest as bad odours and be harmful. Like carbon dioxide, they may cause fatigue at certain levels.

An air quality sensor looks and feels like the presence sensor but works with mains power. It has a USB type C connector. The air quality sensors are connected at the human head level using double-sided adhesive or screws.

Telia Office Air package sensors can measure the air quality of workspaces. With the quality known, action can be taken as needed. Is the ventilation level sufficient and should it be adjusted? Is it is too hot or cold? High carbon dioxide level affects people’s work efficiency. Measuring the environment can help influence how comfortable the work environment feels.

Sensors can also be used to measure the brightness of the space. If, for example, new LED lights are installed at the office, the measurements will directly indicate how much the difference was compared to the previous fluorescent tubes. The system can also be used as a modern barometer.

Utilizing IoT solutions in offices is only the beginning. Singapore is an example of a smart city with entire districts designed to be smart. In the future, we will see more smart offices located in even smarter cities.


Insights from anonymized data can help you to understand the citizens. From public transport to urban planning, ensure that your services and facilities are based on real needs rather than guesswork.

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