Modern office environment with empty workstations and large windows showcasing a green outdoor view. A computer screen displaying the Entelligently software interface is prominently featured, emphasizing environmental sensor data. The image includes text 'How Environmental Sensors Transform Modern Workplace Comfort' and the KnowNow Information Ltd logo on the left side.

How Environmental Sensors Transform Modern Workplace Comfort


The management of workplace environments has evolved significantly over the years, driven by advancements in technology and a growing understanding of environmental factors. Initially, workplace management focused on basic facilities and comfort, but today, it integrates sophisticated systems and environmental sensors to monitor and adjust conditions in real-time. This evolution aims to enhance productivity and wellbeing.

Entelligently, our cutting-edge product, exemplifies this shift. Originally developed as a monitoring application for a Passivhaus in England’s South Downs National Park, it showcased advanced sensor integration using IBM’s cloud services. A dollhouse model with sensors, LEDs for temperature, and mechanical fans for air movement was used to demonstrate the system at an Internet of Things demo site in Old Street, London. Feedback from businesses led us to adapt Entelligently for office settings, resulting in a powerful tool that optimizes environmental conditions to boost productivity and comfort in modern workplaces.

But how do we collect the information from the workplace to enable the system to become intelligent?

Types of Environmental Sensors

Photograph of a modern office with visible hardware sensors for heat, CO2, oxygen, noise, and light. The office features a warm, inviting atmosphere with natural lighting, green plants, and wooden floors. The sensors are displayed prominently, showcasing the modern technology used to monitor environmental conditions.

Heat Sensors

How They Work: Heat sensors typically use infrared technology or thermocouples to measure temperature. Infrared sensors detect the infrared radiation emitted by objects, while thermocouples measure temperature differences between two conductive materials.

Role in the Workplace: These sensors monitor temperature variations within the office environment, ensuring that heating and cooling systems maintain optimal thermal comfort.

Impact: By maintaining a consistent and comfortable temperature, heat sensors help reduce discomfort and increase overall productivity. Proper temperature control can prevent fatigue and enhance concentration.

CO2 Sensors

How They Work: CO2 sensors, often using nondispersive infrared (NDIR) technology, measure the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. NDIR sensors use infrared light to detect CO2 levels by measuring the amount of light absorbed by CO2 molecules.

Role in the Workplace: These sensors are crucial for monitoring indoor air quality, especially in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.

Impact: High CO2 levels can lead to drowsiness and reduced cognitive function. By maintaining optimal CO2 levels, these sensors ensure a healthier and more productive work environment.

Oxygen Sensors

How They Work: Oxygen sensors, such as electrochemical cells and zirconia sensors, measure the oxygen concentration in the air. Electrochemical cells produce a current proportional to the oxygen level, while zirconia sensors measure oxygen ion movement through a ceramic cell.

Role in the Workplace: These sensors are vital for monitoring oxygen levels in confined spaces to ensure adequate ventilation and safety.

Impact: Proper oxygen levels are essential for occupant health and safety. Monitoring oxygen levels helps prevent hypoxia and ensures a safe working environment.

Noise Sensors

How They Work: Noise sensors, using sound level meters or microphones, measure sound pressure levels in decibels (dB). These sensors detect and quantify noise levels in the environment.

Role in the Workplace: They monitor sound levels to manage acoustics and reduce noise pollution.

Impact: Controlling noise levels helps reduce distractions and stress, enhancing productivity and overall workplace comfort. It ensures a conducive working environment, especially in open-plan offices.

A diagram of a modern office building showing labelling for the sensors that are deployed. These include Heat Temperature, Presence, Co2 and Light/Lux.

Light Sensors

How They Work: Light sensors, such as photodiodes and light-dependent resistors (LDRs), measure the intensity of light. Photodiodes convert light into an electrical current, while LDRs change resistance based on light exposure.

Role in the Workplace: These sensors monitor natural and artificial light levels to maintain optimal lighting conditions.

Impact: Proper lighting enhances mood, productivity, and energy efficiency. By adjusting lighting based on sensor data, workplaces can create a more comfortable and productive environment.


In some cases, existing building sensors can provide some or all of this information. However, new sensors may be required to achieve comprehensive environmental monitoring. The cost of these sensors has significantly decreased since we first created Entelligently, making advanced workplace management more accessible than ever.

Importance of Environmental Sensors in Workplace Management

Health and Safety

Ensuring Adequate Ventilation and Air Quality: Environmental sensors play a critical role in monitoring and maintaining air quality within the workplace. CO2 and oxygen sensors, for instance, ensure that ventilation systems are functioning correctly and that indoor air remains safe and breathable.

Preventing Health Issues: Poor air quality can lead to health problems such as headaches, fatigue, and respiratory issues. By continuously monitoring air quality, these sensors help prevent such issues, ensuring a healthier work environment.

Productivity Enhancement

Correlation Between Environmental Conditions and Employee Performance: Studies have shown that optimal environmental conditions significantly enhance employee productivity. Proper temperature, lighting, and air quality can reduce discomfort and distractions, allowing employees to focus better and perform more efficiently.

Case Study: Manchester’s Bright Building: The implementation of Entelligently at Manchester’s Bright Building demonstrated a 30% increase in occupant comfort and a 5% reduction in energy costs. This case study highlights how optimal environmental conditions, achieved through advanced sensor integration, can boost productivity and reduce operational costs.

You can read more about the results from the Bright Building here.

Energy Efficiency

Role of Sensors in Optimizing HVAC Systems: Sensors for heat, CO2, and oxygen levels provide essential data for optimizing HVAC systems. By adjusting heating, cooling, and ventilation based on real-time data, buildings can maintain comfort while reducing energy use.

Reducing Energy Consumption: Data-driven adjustments allow for more precise control over environmental conditions, leading to significant energy savings. For example, Entelligently’s implementation in various buildings has shown substantial reductions in energy consumption while maintaining high comfort levels.

Examples of Energy Savings in Smart Buildings: Smart buildings equipped with environmental sensors have reported up to a 25% reduction in energy costs. These savings are achieved by dynamically adjusting systems based on real-time data, ensuring efficiency without compromising comfort.

Integration with Smart Building Systems

Data Feeding into Building Management Systems (BMS)

Environmental sensors continuously collect data on temperature, CO2 levels, oxygen levels, noise, and light within the building. This data is then fed into the Building Management System (BMS) in real-time. The BMS aggregates this information to provide a comprehensive view of the building’s environmental conditions, allowing for dynamic adjustments to maintain optimal conditions.

Use of Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics play a crucial role in smart building systems. By analyzing historical and real-time data, predictive models can forecast future environmental conditions and potential discomforts. Entelligently leverages these analytics to proactively adjust settings, ensuring that the building remains comfortable and energy-efficient. For instance, if the system predicts a rise in CO2 levels, it can preemptively increase ventilation to maintain air quality.

A man using a smart building mobile application whilst sitting at the workplace

User Engagement through Real-Time Feedback and Smart Nudges

Effective smart building management relies on active user engagement. Entelligently encourages occupants to provide feedback on their comfort levels via an intuitive interface. This feedback loop allows the system to learn and adapt to individual preferences. Additionally, Entelligently employs smart nudges—personalized suggestions and alerts—to guide users in making minor adjustments, such as opening a window or altering their thermostat setting, further enhancing comfort and efficiency.


Integrating environmental sensors with smart building systems enables dynamic and responsive management of workplace environments. By feeding real-time data into the BMS, utilizing predictive analytics, and engaging users through feedback and smart nudges, Entelligently ensures optimal conditions, enhancing both comfort and energy efficiency.

Future Trends and Innovations

Emerging Technologies in Environmental Sensing

The field of environmental sensing is rapidly evolving with the advent of new technologies. Advanced sensors now offer greater accuracy, lower power consumption, and enhanced connectivity. Innovations such as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology are making sensors more sensitive and efficient, paving the way for more precise environmental monitoring.

Integration with Other Smart Systems (e.g., IoT, AI)

The integration of environmental sensors with Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies is transforming smart building management. IoT enables seamless communication between devices, while AI analyzes vast amounts of data to predict and optimize building conditions. These technologies work together to create a fully automated and responsive environment that adapts to real-time changes.

Potential Impact on Future Workplace Design and Management

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly altered building use patterns, with many buildings now operating at 30%-40% occupancy compared to pre-pandemic levels of around 80%. This shift has changed the heat profile and overall environmental dynamics of workplaces. Future workplace design will need to account for these changes, incorporating flexible and adaptive systems to manage fluctuating occupancy levels efficiently. The continuous evolution of smart building technologies will enable more personalized and efficient management, ensuring comfort and sustainability in the post-pandemic workplace.


Environmental sensors play a critical role in modern workplaces by ensuring health, safety, and productivity. They provide real-time data that helps maintain optimal conditions, enhancing employee wellbeing and operational efficiency.

For building managers, integrating these technologies is essential. Sensors for temperature, CO2, oxygen, noise, and light are now more accessible and affordable than ever, enabling comprehensive monitoring and management.

Explore how Entelligently can revolutionise your workplace management. Contact us at or call 02392 160640 to start a trial and experience the benefits firsthand.


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