No. 3: GWWO Inc./Architects

At GWWO Inc./Architects, the Friday happy hours aren't just for drinking. They're also a time for the firm's 52 employees to discuss and critique recent projects, work on their entries in the office holiday card contest or face off in a pool tournament. GWWO is an egalitarian, warm place: Office doors are nonexistent, all employees have about the same amount of workspace and management is scattered throughout the office instead of being squirreled away. Company laser-tag and rock-climbing outings allow employees to build camaraderie, and many spend additional time together playing golf or softball. "GWWO has a great atmosphere and work environment," says one employee. "Project collaboration across the firm is efficient and brings coworkers together. Social and team-building opportunities allow coworkers and management to get to know each other outside the office environment." Other employee benefits include paid professional memberships and professional development, 14 paid holidays (including a week off between Christmas and New Year's Day), and a pre-tax child-care reimbursement plan. They also receive a benefit from the fact that GWWO specializes in cultural and educational facilities that are energy-efficient and have a low environmental impact; projects include the Irvine Nature Center in Owings Mills and the Mount Royal Station and Trainshed in Baltimore.

In this photo: Kate Masciocchi (left), Sharon Day, Amanda Brown, Martina Reilly, and Brian Weisgerber collaborate at the company's offices in Baltimore.

Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun
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