Back in early 2002, the office environment at World Insurance Co. resembled a noisy beehive with workers faxing, printing, copying, retrieving documents from warehouse storage and chatting while carrying out those tasks.

Today, the office environment resembles a seated symphony quietly performing the essential tasks of the day with a high level of efficiency. The nostalgic office sounds of buzzing, whirring, churning and humming office machines and the distractions they caused have given way to the orderly execution of work. "When I take people on office tours now, the physical noise (of office equipment) and of people doing what used to be their jobs-printing, faxing, copying and retrieving documents-is gone," says Ron Safarik, vice president of budget and process improvement at World Insurance Co., Omaha, Neb.

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