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How IOT sensors and smart buildings will improve wellness in meetings

The office environment has a profound effect on productivity and many studies have attempted to isolate and measure the impact of factors like temperature, air quality and lighting.

Sharp’s report with Dr Nigel Oseland looks at this area of research and suggests that collaboration and general wellness within meetings can be linked to environment too, and that IOT sensors and smart building management will become key ways to optimise productivity.

Why do we need to be concerned about the temperature of our meeting spaces? Or the lighting?

Put simply, we spend a lot of time and money on meetings, so we need to get them right. We assign a lot of expensive floor space to meetings – and we spend a lot of time attending them, Sharp’s research put this conservatively at 25 hours per person per month for European office workers.

Many things affect the success of a meeting space and the productivity of the people that use it, but environmental factors like temperature and air quality are the foundations. There is a wealth of academic research that shows the significant impact of these conditions on our performance at work.

In their review of 75 studies, Oseland & Burton compared studies that showed a direct effect of the various environmental factors, including temperature, air quality and light etc. on performance. They predicted that the average gain for air quality was 1.4 per cent, temperature 1.2 per cent and lighting 1.1 per cent. Based on the Law of Diminishing Returns, providing a combination of adequate air quality, temperature and lighting could enhance overall worker performance by circa 2.5 per cent.

Using Windows collaboration display from Sharp

What is exciting, is that now, for the first time, via the Windows collaboration display from Sharp, you can start to monitor your meeting environment quickly and easily.

As well as including a host of features to improve team work, the collaboration display is the first to include smart sensors that measure temperature and humidity, ambient light, air quality levels and even potentially the number of occupants in a meeting.

The display, and Sharp’s WorkSpace Intelligence platform provides you with a dashboard of environmental data that hasn’t been possible before with such a technically straightforward and cost effective solution.

It paves the way to smarter cloud-based building management systems, without the need to invest in physically changing your building. As well as increasing productivity, better management of environmental conditions also cuts out waste and saves money.

It’s a huge waste of resources for example, to keep meeting rooms lit and air-conditioned when not in use, or to keep them too hot or too cold, a common complaint. How much could be saved if a building ‘knew’ when to turn the lights on and off, when to cool a room in readiness for a meeting?

A building where all systems are integrated and optimised – a ‘high performance building’ - can deliver a 40 per cent reduction in energy costs according to the Institute for Market Transformation (2017). However, applying smart technology and artificial intelligence to any office building will reduce costs.

The Windows collaboration display and Sharp WorkSpace Intelligence, together with cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, provide the starting point for applying smart systems. For example, when you know the temperature of a meeting room and you can send that data to the cloud, and from the cloud, communicate this to your heating and cooling system to take an action, you have a system that adapts to how your meeting spaces are used.

We believe this is the start of a revolution in smart spaces.

We look forward to our customers automating their meeting environments to make the perfect conditions for productivity and wellness.

To find out how Windows collaboration display from Sharp can help transform your meeting spaces, we’ve created a guide entitled Creating the Perfect Meeting Environment, which is free to download.


Marzena Szulc
PR & Communication Manager CEE