chi-TranswesternKidsRoom2 (3) At its regional headquarters in Chicago, Transwestern provides a kids’ room, which helps parents organize child care and reduce stress, a major factor in a person’s health.

CHICAGO—Employers now largely recognize that to recruit and retain the best talent they need to provide welcoming office environments. But how to design those spaces, and how to differentiate them from the competition, has become the subject of much debate.