In today's Britain, more and more people spend longer at an office than ever before. It dominates lives. It's made more people middle class, transformed the lot of women, raised standards in education and been the reason for many technological advances. But the office itself seems to have no history and people accept without question the way they work now. They endure the charade of the annual appraisal, gawp at endless PowerPoint presentations in interminable meetings and work in open plan offices where colleagues' phone calls to their plumber can be heard.