Good luck if you're trying to get anything done this week. With many offices getting ready to close to observe Christmas, most people's minds are elsewhere.

But what if you don't celebrate Christmas? While a day off is certainly welcome, what if there's another more meaningful-to-you holiday you'd rather observe instead? If you work at Spotify, you can now do just that.

In November, Spotify announced a new public holiday policy. Employees can choose to work a public holiday, and take that day off some other time. "This means they can be off of work on a day that fits their observations or beliefs better," writes Katarina Berg, Spotify's head of HR.

If you don't care to celebrate Christmas, you can work on Dec. 25th and swap it for a different holiday of your choice. It doesn't even have to be a religious or publicly observed one. Your holiday can be anything that's important for you to celebrate.

"Yom Kippur? Diwali? International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia? It's their day, their choice.," the company blog post states. The post also acknowledges that Spotify is making a concerted effort to increase diversity and grow their workforce. The hope is that inclusive policies such as this one will help improve their recruiting and retention efforts.

When perks are not really perks (and when they are)

Office perks are not always what they seem. Many of them are overrated. I've seen companies proudly tout perks in their job descriptions that have opposite of the intended effect, making people miserable and inclined to seek employment elsewhere. (Or, at the very least, these "perks" spark a great deal of office grumbling because people don't enjoy coming into work.)

Take that splashy, Instagram-worthy open office design, for example. Extroverts might love the this action-packed environment. Introverts, not so much. Without the proper measures taken to create areas for quiet, focused work, open offices can quickly become awful place to get anything done.

For a company policy to truly be considered perk-worthy, it should add value to employees' lives. Transportation reimbursements, health and wellness programs and child care stipends? All things I consider to be quality perks. This Spotify flexible holiday policy is spot-on perk. It lets employees choose to spend their time celebrating what matters most to them -- even if it's a not-commonly-celebrated holiday that most of their coworkers don't observe.

Spotify's new choose-your-own-holiday policy has only been in effect for just over a month, so we have yet to see how employees will take advantage. Will the Spotify offices be a bit livelier this Christmas with more employees opting to work and down the fort? We'll see how it goes over. ​

Published on: Dec 18, 2017
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