This is the 2020s, the industry is global, and our sacred western holiday is just another working day in much of the world.

Yes, it’s Christmas Day, should you be reading this as part of the daily email shot of TNPS posts. But most likely you’re not, judging from the auto-responder emails stacking up each morning that say, in effect Closed For Business Until January.

Of course everyone is entitled to a holiday, and there are, dating back to Christmas past, good reasons why a publisher would want to shut shop and have everyone conveniently off work at the same time.

But this is the 2020s, the industry is global and increasingly digital, and our sacred western holiday is just another working day in much of the world. Which is why TNPS doesn’t break for Christmas or Easter or any other holiday period, and why I’m writing this Christmas Eve with the Christmas Day mail shot in mind, and I’ll be writing another post or two tomorrow with the “Boxing Day” mail shot in mind.

But let’s focus on publishing industry employees, who of course have earned and deserve their holiday break, and for those who profess to being Christians then Christmas is a special time.

But in a multicultural world it is not necessarily appropriate or good business sense to force all employees of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds into the Christian-western calendar, and of course at the other end of the scale we have Muslims, Hindus, Jews and others expected to work through their preferred and sacred holidays because the western industry calendar doesn’t fully respect their religious and cultural beliefs, no matter how much lip-service is paid through token email greetings and like “diversity” measures.

So it’s appropriate to mark this Christmas Day 2020 with news from Storytel that said company will be introducing flexible holidays for its global employees.

Per the press release,

Flexible public holidays mean that employees can exchange a public holiday for another day to celebrate something that is important to them, such as Ramadan, a birthday, the Pride Festival or some other significant holiday.

Storytel’s HR Director Märta Langéen elaborates:

At Storytel, we value diversity and strive to be an environment where people thrive and develop as much as possible. In order to continue to attract the best employees and make them happy, we want them to have the opportunity to celebrate what they themselves believe in and not just be assigned to the red days in the calendar.

It is important for us to be transparent and clear regarding diversity in our sustainability report, but diversity will never just be a number for us. The real measure is when everyone who works at the company feels secure in being themselves and learns from each other’s differences.

The press release adds:

Storytel has welcomed more than 150 new employees around the world by 2020. Globally, the company has employees of 43 nationalities in more than 20 countries, while the gender distribution is 52 percent women and 48 percent men. 75 percent of Storytel’s employees are younger than 40 years.

The flexible public holidays initiative will commence cross all Storytel markets starting in January 2021.

Meanwhile, for those who are celebrating Christmas today, festive greetings to one and all from myself at TNPS and from the StreetLib team that make TNPS possible.

And for those for whom Christmas is just another working day, stay safe and enjoy your preferred holidays as and when the time comes.