Case Stories

Danish Municipality Uses Sensor Data for Workspace Optimization & Cost Savings

Leona Leslie
VP Marketing

A municipality in Nodsjælland, Denmark, has invested in hundreds of desk occupancy sensors for its Gribskov town hall offices to optimize workspace usage. The sensors, provided by Disruptive Technologies partner IoT Fabrikken, are discreetly positioned under desks, providing valuable data on occupancy levels throughout the day, weeks, months, and years.

They measure whether a person is sitting at a desk or if seats are empty because people are working from home or in meetings. Employers can use this information to measure occupancy and make informed decisions about workspace design and resource allocation. They can potentially reduce the number of desks, saving money for the workplace.

"It's expensive to have empty spaces," says Jon Wichmann, CEO and co-founder of IoT Fabrikken. He explains that a desk space in Denmark costs around 20,000 to 70,000 kroner (2,700 - 9,400 euros) per year – depending on where in the country you are. “If you have an office at an expensive address in central Copenhagen and can cut 100 desk spaces, you can save seven million kroner (940,000 euros) a year."

Troels Skak-Nørskov, who heads the municipality's property team, expands on this by saying, "Each saved square meter corresponds to about 28,000 kroner in a construction project of more than 100 million kroner," emphasizing the importance of planning for real estate based on the actual requirements of a workplace.

The Flexible Workplace

After the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us got used to working from home, and many still like working from a home office part of the time. However, this flexible approach also means that desk spaces in office landscapes are often empty. Real-time data, coupled with usage metrics, empowers employers to make informed decisions about the number of desks to plan for.

"Using the sensor data, we could create a floor plan, which is a 'here-and-now' snapshot of all desk spaces at the town hall. If a desk is shown in red, it means the desk is occupied; if it is green, it is vacant. You can see all desk spaces ranked from most to least popular and how many hours each desk is in use on a given day,” explains Jon Wichmann.

The IoT Fabrikken team installed the sensors in a single evening. The sensors are wireless and peel-and-stick, meaning they can be installed in just a few seconds. They instantly start communicating data to the cloud without any complex configuration or setup.

Once in place, the sensors continuously collect data on desk usage, providing real-time feedback. They work by detecting temperature changes when someone sits at a desk.

Using sensors to measure occupancy is more efficient and cost-effective than other methods, such as manual check-ins. "The alternative is that more than 600 employees would have to log their desk usage down to the smallest detail every day, which would cost too much time and take that time away from serving our constituents," says Troels Skak-Nørskov.

The benefits of the data are manifold. It allows for more efficient space management, potentially saving significant costs associated with unused workstations. Additionally, it facilitates environmental responsibility by minimizing unnecessary energy consumption and reducing the workplace's carbon footprint.

Growing Demand for Occupancy Solutions

IoT Fabrikken has seen a surge in demand for its services. In the past year alone, it has installed tens of thousands of desk occupancy sensors and helped large international customers such as Maersk. The company is currently active in ten European countries.

Looking ahead, the insights gleaned from these sensors will inform future workspace designs. As workplaces evolve to accommodate changing work patterns, data-driven approaches will be crucial in creating efficient and sustainable environments for employees.

IoT Fabrikken is a Danish company based in Roskilde, just outside Copenhagen. Visit their website at or connect with them on LinkedIn.

For more information, you are also welcome to reach out to Commercial Director Lars Qvistgaard at and +45 93 99 40 60.

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