Drop the controversy about Christmas lights

MyDesk Christmas app

A new survey from the Danish Energy Agency shows that only a third of all employees think that their workplace does a lot to save energy. Advisor believes companies focus on Christmas lights instead of finding real improvements. "In my experience, many companies have no idea how the office is used by employees"

A survey from the Danish Energy Agency shows that only a third of all employees believe that their workplace does a lot to save energy. With Danes spending around a third of the day in the workplace, businesses need to step up to the plate and embrace energy-friendly initiatives and habits to become part of the solution to the difficult energy situation.

At Mydesk, which helps companies optimize square footage, finances, employee well-being and, not least, energy consumption, one initiative in particular is currently being highlighted by companies. Namely, the announcements to de-prioritize or drop this year’s Christmas lights altogether.

But it’s a measure that "weighs far too lightly on the scale". At least that’s the opinion of Jesper Bo Larsen, co-founder of Mydesk. He points to far greater challenges and more effective courses of action:
"In my experience, many companies don’t know how the office is used by employees. I’m talking about office space, but also meeting rooms and canteens. In my opinion, this is the key to reducing consumption," says Jesper Bo Larsen and refers to the Danish Energy Agency’s savings advice for workplaces. The savings advice is first and foremost to create an accurate overview of current consumption, especially for heating, water and electricity, and to identify potential savings. Advice that requires knowledge of how the office is used on a daily basis in the first place.

Streamlining workplaces

According to Mydesk, the average office space is empty 40 percent of the time. This figure is from before the corona pandemic hit the country and increased the number considerably. The amount of homework has doubled on a typical workday compared to 2019. This means more empty office space, which leaves a significant energy footprint. Therefore, Jesper Bo Larsen believes that companies should start there when looking for savings potential.

"It may seem easier for companies to choose to go out and say that this year they have chosen not to put up the Christmas tree chains," says Jesper Bo Larsen and continues:
"But we need to take more responsibility than that. While it may seem like a big project to get an overview of how the office is being used and how it can be optimized, it’s actually really quick and easy to get started."

For Mydesk, it’s all about streamlining the seats that are needed. For example, a workplace can reduce their office space because they only really need 100 seats for 130 employees. This would also mean that there would be fewer spaces that need heating, lighting and cleaning. A more drastic solution in times of crisis is to cluster office-using employees in areas rather than spending energy on entire office buildings.

Sensors and flex booking

For Jesper Bo Larsen, it’s about creating solutions that create transparency for companies about the use of their own offices.

He therefore sees great potential in Mydek’s latest addition, Workspace Analytics, when it comes to the pursuit of energy savings. Workspace Analytics provides insight and overview of office usage. The management tool is connected to sensors placed at the office spaces and can detect if someone is using each space. In Jesper Bo Larsen’s eyes, it’s a quick and easy way to get an overview of your savings potential, and the sensors can also measure CO2, humidity and temperatures or be connected to energy systems.

But it doesn’t have to start with sensors or flex-seating. Jesper Bo Larsen’s best advice for companies to start saving energy is to gain knowledge about how many employees use the office space, when and in which areas:
"I meet a lot of people who have no idea how or how many people use the office on a daily basis. It’s hard to act without knowledge, and it doesn’t take much to gain that insight."

Mydesk is continuously working on developing new features for the app. Currently, the various features of MyDesk include desk booking, meeting room booking, parking and EV charger booking, guest registration and Workplace Analytics. Mydesk is constantly working on new solutions that can create transparency for companies about the use of their offices.

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Henrik, Jesper og Louise