Incentives keep a local firm local
A fixture of Loudoun County strengthens its roots
22,000 square feet
22970 Indian Creek Drive, Sterling, VA
Founded in Loudoun County, Unanet unveiled a web-based timesheet management product to the market in 1998. Over two decades later, the company has assisted thousands of organizations of all shapes and sizes optimize business performance with cloud-based software solutions by consolidating project, people and financial management to one place. With improved efficiency and productivity comes better results, greater profitability and superior outcomes. As Unanet’s influence and success increased, they opened several offices across the country while retaining their strong connection to Loudoun. In 2015, the company was at an inflection point. Their off-the-charts growth demanded a new headquarters location to carry the company into their next phase. While Unanet’s team had several hopes for their new workspace, remaining in Loudoun County was at the top of the list.
Beyond their deep ties to the area, Unanet preferred to keep close to their largest client base with a significant footprint in the county: government contractors. Unanet regularly invites clients on-site, hosts company-wide events and employs talent across the country, so the proximity to Dulles International Airport was a nice perk. Additionally, Loudoun County’s residential population included a large segment in the software and engineering fields, the exact talent Unanet relies upon for continued growth. Upon meeting JLL’s Dee MacDonald Miller and Chuck LaRock, Unanet’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Craig and the Unanet leadership team acknowledged that competition for this talent was only getting tougher, and it was no longer enough to just have an office in Loudoun County. To successfully attract and retain top talent, Unanet needed to offer potential and current employees an office that delivered a positive experience and the tools and resources to perform their best.
In the past, the company had given little thought to a long-term real estate strategy. Unanet’s unbranded, generic office did little to highlight who they were and where they were going. They previously expanded in piecemeal, focusing more on short-term solutions to solve their immediate space needs. With JLL’s help, Chris and his team realized just how crucial the workspace was to support and enhance a collaborative and team-focused culture. They also realized that the workplace experience was not limited to the office itself. Amenities in and around the building, such as an on-site gym and dining and retail opportunities nearby promoted a health-centric, positive atmosphere for the employees.
With all of this in mind, the JLL team began its quest for Unanet’s future home. While the pursuit extended to nearby counties, the primary focus was on Loudoun. After searching far and wide, JLL discovered a 22,000-square-foot space at 22970 Indian Creek Drive that met all Unanet’s needs. To seal the deal, the JLL team coordinated with Loudoun County officials to secure an attractive incentives package to ensure Unanet remained local. Once the lease was signed, the team tapped JLL’s Greg Martinez and Joanna Verdi of the Project and Development Services team to manage the entire build-out process and bring Unanet’s vision to life. The result is a bright, dynamic office that not only helps the company attract and retain talent, but also allows Unanet’s team to collaborate more effectively amongst themselves and with clients. Aware of the company’s continued growth, the JLL team made sure to include several expansion options during lease negotiations. Only months after moving in, Unanet exercised one of those options.
Unanet’s new office revitalized the workplace experience, empowering employees to do their best work in an accommodating space. The large, open café created the perfect setting for “Unanet Uncorked,” a staff-favorite event combining happy hour with one-on-one meetings. After mingling over drinks in the café, clients can convene with their Unanet representative in one of the small huddle rooms. Placing a high value on education and training, the company frequently hosts “Unanet University” classes at the office. A moveable wall divides the café from a classroom-like setting. When opened, the flexible space transforms into a classroom ideal for interactive and informative training sessions.
When they’re not hosting events, Unanet employees leverage the office to find a space that works for them, whether it is a private workstation, small team room or large conference room. The space communicates not only how Unanet works, but also who they are. Unanet embraces “servant leadership,” a concept designed to empower everyone, regardless of title or tenure, with the power to lead. Leadership comes from everyone who contributes to the company’s success rather than simply from the top. Inspirational quotes adorn the office and conference room walls, reminding everyone of the role they play as part of the growing Unanet team.