The key is to look beyond the office layout. The key is to look beyond the office layout.

ATLANTA—As skilled workers weigh employer reputations and workplace experiences when making job choices, companies are working harder to cultivate their brand as a recruiting and talent-retention tool. Occupancy cost is the second-largest expense after payroll at most firms. Savvy employers—not just tech and creative firms—can draw double duty from their real estate by molding the workplace into an extension of their culture.