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Wide-Open Spaces

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At AGI's Melrose Park, Ill., headquarters, there are no traditional private offices. Instead, workers at the packaging manufacturer operate in an open environment with few walls and doors. No matter where they are--at a coworker's desk or on the plant floor--they have access to their computer files from any terminal or PC on the premises. Those who use laptops can plug into the company's network at any of 250 data ports.

Many employees carry pagers because they spend 80% or more of their time away from their desks, solving problems on the fly.

CEO Richard Block invested nearly $1 million in the nonterritorial work environment when AGI sales were at $30 million. The offices are in a square with an oval track in the middle. Outside the oval is open space filled with modular office furniture; there are no walls, and the area is flooded with sunlight from skylights. Inside the oval's perimeter are executive offices with glass walls and no doors. And at its very center are conference rooms.

Ad hoc teams are the rule, and Block spends as much as 75% of his time walking around, talking to designers, pressmen, and clients.




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