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Olark Handbook

Flexible Time Off

What’s Flexible Time Off (FTO)?

FTO is Olark’s version of paid time off, and can be used for your vacation or personal days. The cool part: It’s flexible, so with approval from your manager, you can step away for other needs (or fun) in life!

The Why:

One of our core values is #chill and we really mean that. We believe in fostering a healthy work-life balance and empowering you to manage your time in a way that best suits your personal and professional needs.

In a Nutshell:

When you need time off from work, take it. Flexible time off is for vacation, personal days, errands, and other priorities. To take Flexible Time Off, you’ll just need approval from your manager. We want you to stay charged and #chill, and craft a schedule that works for you. 

In return: make sure your work stays on track, and give your team enough heads-up (in particular, at least a few weeks notice for any FTO that is 4+ days). We also offer a yearly Vacation Bonus to encourage you to recharge and disconnect from Olark!

The Details:

There is no minimum or maximum amount of FTO you need to take, however we do encourage you to take at least two weeks off per calendar year. Aim for 3+ weeks notice when you take four days or more off – your team thanks you!

FTO does require approval from your manager, and you still have to do your job, so you probably can’t take 360 days off in a year. But we hope that between officewide Olark breaks and a more flexible amount of time off than many workplaces, you’ll be able to sustain a healthy balance. We all need to take breaks and take care of things outside of work to be at our peak… and enjoy our lives.

Two Main Types of FTO

Vacation - extended time off planned in advance for trips, traveling, staycations 

Personal Day - planned or unplanned day off of work to rest/recharge

  • Planned Example: I had a big project push this week, I am taking time to recharge and will be off on Friday.
  • Unplanned Example: I can’t concentrate on my work this morning, so I’m taking the day off and starting again tomorrow.

Notes on Leave Types: FTO can’t be combined with Parental Leave. Also, if you or a family member is sick and you need time off, this falls under our Sick Leave policy rather than FTO.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the difference between a personal day and a sick day? 

  • You’d use a personal day for work-related fatigue. A sick day is for an illness. 
  • We want to be clear on the difference because if you ever need to go out on extended leave, one resource you have is your sick leave. After that, we can look into other forms of leave. See our Sick Leave page for more details. If you're unsure, reach out to your manager or HR for assistance.

Olark Values This Embodies

Chill Out