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Feb 10

A History of the Office – from Clerical Factory to Digital Hub

February 10 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

A Webinar with Dr Rob Harris

In this webinar Rob will discuss the role of offices in cities, their contribution to the economy, the people who build and own them, the organisations that occupy and manage them, and the nature of the space itself as a place of work.

He will do this through a London lens, as he shares some thoughts from his soon to be published book. He will talk about five ages of the modern office: market, factory, corporate, digital and network.

He will look at organisations whose function was ‘managerial’ rather than ‘productive’, resulting in the ‘corporate’ office, and their transition to digital offices, crammed full of technology supporting densely organised workforces.

Rob will touch on the post-Covid office, speculating it foretells a ‘fifth age’, the Network Office. Many trends already in play went into ‘fast forward’, including the commoditisation of space. The workplace experience and the manner in which it is curated will assume greater importance. Buildings will increasingly take on the profile of hotels in their operation and management.

“The supply industry will have to change, and change radically. Where once a building was seen as a castle, it must now be seen as a condominium. Welcome to the network office and the era of un-real estate”

(London’s Global Office Economy: from Clerical Factory to Digital Hub – Taylor & Francis/Routledge, April 2021)


UK time – 11:00

Central European Time – 12:00

SAST and EET – 13:00

Arabia Standard Time – 14:00

Gulf Standard Time – 15:00

You will receive a link 2 days before the webinar

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Profile: Rob Harris BA(Hons) MPhil PhD

Rob is a consultant, analyst and writer in the commercial real estate sector, where he has spent over three decades advising occupiers, developers, investors and public sector bodies. Rob’s interests and experience range from advising occupiers on their use of space to the urban policies that help shape future cities: from the ‘workstation to the city region’.


February 10
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Herman Miller Insight Group
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