News & Politics

The Happiest DC Companies With Fewer Than 20 Employees

From our 50 best places to work list.

Nest DC's office is small but stylish. Photo courtesy of Nest DC.

At each of these winners, people not only feel close, often like a family, but that they’re contributing to the organization’s success. Plus, small staffs don’t mean small benefits.

Enterprise Knowledge

Enterprise Knowledge says it promotes innovation and creativity with a circular whiteboard room used for informal idea sharing sessions. Photo courtesy of Enterprise Knowledge.

This Arlington company is in the business of “knowledge and information management”—for example, it helped the National Park Service launch an online learning portal for park rangers. It hosts biweekly knowledge-sharing sessions for its own staff, and employees love the focus on growth. Fun perk: $3,000 reimbursement for buying a hybrid vehicle.

Glassman Wealth Services

At this wealth-management firm in Tysons, owner Barry Glassman shares the company’s good fortune: Staff get unlimited vacation, quarterly bonuses, paid health-care premiums, and even paid honeymoons. Lunch is free every Friday, and free all week whenever a new client is signed. On quarterly “thinking days,” employees are told to stay away from the office, expense a new lunch spot, and think about ways to improve the client experience.

Glen Echo Group

Coworkers here don’t eat lunch at their desks if they can help it—instead, they dine together in the office. Collaboration is essential at GEG, a strategic-communications and public-affairs agency in DC that takes on interesting clients dealing with high-tech issues such as cybersecurity and broadband access.

Nest DC

The Nest DC office at 1st and Florida Ave. in Bloomingdale. Photo courtesy of Nest.

Befitting its name, Nest’s DC headquarters is homey, with wood floors, an herb-and-vegetable garden, and overstuffed sofas where the office dogs, Mr. Shaggy and Jackson, nap. (A dove coos away in its cage.) This boutique property-management firm’s perks are just as cozy: unlimited vacation, profit sharing, and a monthly $100 transportation benefit. Paid health-care premiums include pet insurance.


This Georgetown architecture and design firm—38 and 77 are the District’s latitude and longitude—does residential, hotel, and restaurant projects, including Momofuku CCDC and Glen’s Garden Market. Interiors aren’t all they build: Each employee crafts three-, six-, and 12-month goals. Very much a team, they work in an open office and enjoy free beer on tap, and many jog together twice a week.

This article appears in the March 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.