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Olark Handbook

Async Flexible Work & No Meeting Wednesdays

What Are our Approaches?

Olark is a fully remote company, spread across several time zones in the US and Canada. (And we’ve been remote since the very beginning. Awesome, no?) We work asynchronously with shared processes whenever possible to #make great things happen and collaborate with our amazing teammates. We’ve also built in No Meeting Wednesdays every week.

The Why:

We think that allowing for async work maximizes Olarker productivity and motivation, while using the same tools and processes keeps us on the same page. Let’s face it, we all do better work when we’re on our optimal schedules! And having one day dedicated to heads-down projects gives everyone more time to concentrate. 

In a Nutshell: 

Olarkers use shared remote tools and strategies to collaborate and keep ourselves aligned while working on different tasks at different times. We also have semi-flexible hours within the business week and don’t schedule meetings on Wednesdays.

The Details:


We rarely rely on email, and instead use Slack and Trello as our main tools to communicate with other Olarkers. Slack is where our day-to-day discussion happens, synchronously for the most part, but we don’t have strict rules about how you can use Slack. We want you to be empowered to #speak up in ways that work best for you.

Trello is where we organize our projects and timelines. Trello boards are visible across the entire company. Want to know what a team is working on? Check their Trello board for projects and progress! 

We also collaborate a lot in Google Docs, generating ideas, brainstorming, asking questions, and housing information. Having one place where documents live all the time allows us to collab asynchronously with ease!  


Before meetings, we create agendas that share the meeting goal and advance requests. People who plan to attend a meeting get the chance to review an agenda async, and add thoughts, questions, and comments. This way, when it's time to meet (usually on Zoom), everyone has had time to reflect on the same information up front. Bonus: We all avoid meetings where everyone shifts around uncomfortably because no one knows what’s going on!

Flexible Hours 

Olarkers don’t have set schedules (outside of our customer support team, who staffs our chat), so we have the autonomy and flexibility to choose hours that work best for us. We do ask that you work Monday through Friday, and have some overlap with your individual team when real-time collaboration is needed. 

No Meeting Wednesdays 

We’ve dedicated Wednesdays to #make, so our team can focus without any internal meetings. Meetings are sometimes necessary, but often interrupt the flow of deep work. One day a week with no meetings gives us a space for uninterrupted focus time. On Wednesdays, company-wide meetings are canceled, and team members can choose how to use an entire day without meetings in whatever way we need. 

Some Olarkers go offline and heads down for deep thinking work. Others use this time to further our learning with research, training, and networking. Wednesdays are whatever we #make of them! 

We’re still on a journey to improve our async working habits, so we #practice empathy and #assume good faith when working together, and appreciate our many different working styles. If you have other ideas to boost our creativity and collaborative success, we’re all ears!

Olark Values This Embodies

Make it Happen
Assume Good Faith
Practice Empathy