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Real Estate & Planning Research Seminar by Dr Rob Harris from Ramidus Consulting Limited, Title "London’s Global Office Economy: From Clerical Factory to Digital Hub"

Rob at Conference 2
Event information
Date 23 February 2022
Time 13:00-14:00 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Venue Henley Business School
Event types:

This is a Seminar being held internally within Henley Business School, however if you would like to attend this Event (online or in person) please contact the Real Estate & Planning Deparrtment Office at :

Title "London’s Global Office Economy: From Clerical Factory to Digital Hub"

by Dr Rob Harris, Ramidus Consulting Limited


London’s Global Office Economy: From Clerical Factory to Digital Hub is a timely and comprehensive study of the office from the very beginnings of the workplace to its post-pandemic future. The book takes the reader on a journey through five ages of the office, encompassing sixteenth century coffees houses and markets; eighteenth century clerical factories, the corporate offices emerging in the nineteenth, to the digital and network offices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

While offices might appear ubiquitous, their evolution and role in the modern economy are among the least explained aspects of city development. One-third of the workforce use an office; and yet the buildings themselves – their history, design, construction, management and occupation – are rarely discussed. Using London as a backdrop, Rob Harris seeks to redress this neglect of office activity by shedding a beam of light across its history to explain how the office has evolved over time; its role today, and its possible future role.

The book examines everything from paper clips and typewriters, design and construction, workstyles and urban planning to explain the ‘office economy’. It uses a blend of technical discussion with historic anecdote to tell the story of the office, to provide the reader with a broad and deep perspective on the emergence of the office as a function of the economy and its impact on all our lives.

a fascinating, illuminating and comprehensive perspective on the office. Readers will find rich material linking fields that are normally treated in isolation, in a story that weaves together the pressures exerting change on the businesses that occupy office space with the motives and activities of those who plan, supply and manage it.

The story of our unfolding understanding of offices, the changes through which they have passed, the nature of office work itself and its continuing evolution is a fascinating story and should appeal to anyone with an interest in contemporary society and its relationship with work.

Dr Rob Harris Book Image

Dr Rob Harris BA(Hons) MPhil PhD

Principal, Ramidus Consulting Limited

Rob is a consultant and analyst in the commercial real estate sector, where he has spent over three decades advising developers, investors, advisors, occupiers and public sector bodies. He was educated in geography and urban planning, and his interests range from the ‘workstation to the city’. Rob’s particular perspective is understanding real estate as an outcome of social, economic and technological change, which he translates into practical advice.

Rob is principal of Ramidus Consulting Limited, which he established in 2003 as a specialist, independent built environment research and advisory business. He has over 30 years’ experience specialising in real estate research and consulting which have involved projects throughout the property process, including design, development, management, investment and occupation.

His interests and knowledge range from the workplace to the city-region, all driven by the common theme of demand-led research. Rob writes and presents widely, and has published many industry reports on behalf of the BCO, City of London Corporation, Federation of Small Business, Investment Property Forum, the Mayor’s Office and the RICS. Rob is currently a Trustee of the Property Research Trust; chair of the BCO Research Committee, and a Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School. He recently published ‘London’s Global Office Economy: From Clerical Factory to Digital Hub’ (Routledge, 2021).