Employees were asking Howard Meditz, president of Marquardt & Roche/Meditz & Hackett, a marketing agency in Stamford, Conn., for an additional paid holiday. But he couldn't decide which holiday to give them. Plus, Meditz worried about closing the office on a day when some of his clients would probably be working. His solution? A "flex holiday plan." At the beginning of the year, the company, which reports billings of more than $37 million, distributed a list of 24 holidays. Employees could sign up to take any 11.

The agency's 35 full-time workers now have flexibility. They don't, for example, have to dip into vacation time for religious holidays. In addition, the office is open more days rather than fewer. That's because within departments, some employees work on a particular holiday while others don't.