Keep Remote Employees Connected with Donut

Learn how Donut can help remote employees build camaraderie and stay connected

Carrie Biggar avatar
Written by Carrie Biggar
Updated over a week ago

If your team is fully or even partially remote, you may be facing hurdles when it comes to ensuring that your employees still have opportunities to build relationships with coworkers.

As such, it's more important than ever for teams to prioritize strategies that foster engagement and connection. So far, Donut has helped over 20,000 teams keep connections front and center by strengthening every employee's sense of belonging.

That's why, we surveyed hundreds of corporate employees, hoping to understand how workplace connections drive team performance. We found the following:

We found that 70% of people who use Donut said it's easy to meet and make friends with their coworkers because of their company culture. In comparison, only 50% of people who don't use Donut said the same. This means that Donut can help create a friendly and sociable work environment where colleagues can connect with each other much easier.

Below, we share How-To’s for encouraging Intros (like how to announce it to your team!) as well as how to make them more remote-friendly. If you're looking for ways to have your team connect asynchronously, we've got you covered below too!

⚡️Did you know? 74% of teams using Donut already choose to introduce colleagues across offices or time zones!

💡Looking for some inspiration? InVision and Culture Amp both share how they use Donut to keep coworkers connected across distances.

How To: Announce Donut Intros

You can encourage participation for Intros by posting an announcement in Slack to remind everyone that they can meet virtually!

Sample Announcement 1:

Hey everyone! 👋 

>Since many of us are working remotely right now, I just wanted to send a quick reminder that virtual meetups are a great way to keep up with your teammates across distance! We’ll be continuing to use @donut and encourage you to have virtual coffee ☕ or lunch chats via 💻 during this time! If you need to snooze your intros for a while, don’t forget you can do so from @donut’s app home.  

Sample Announcement 2:

Hi team!

>Do you like 🍩? Do you like 👫? Wondering how to stay connected while working remotely 💻? Not to worry, @donut is still here to help us meet and bond with teammates! Grab your coffee, set up a Skype sesh, start chatting! The 🌏 is your oyster. P.S. Need to snooze 💤 for a while ? Just pause your intros from @donut’s app home.

You can also add an automatic welcome message to tell any new hires about your Intro channel. The first time they log into Slack, Donut will reach out to say hi and invite them to join your Intro channel. You can customize the welcome message to include notes or tips about remote meetings as well, so new hires are in the know from Day 1.

How To: Make Intros More Remote-Friendly

There's no singular way to run your Intros program, but we do have a few tips to help make it a success:

  1. Consider adjusting the frequency so that it's a good fit for your team’s current needs. If your team is eager to stay connected to teammates during this time, you might consider trying out a frequency of every 1-2 weeks — that’ll ensure that they are regularly matched with someone new for conversation and can help combat isolation. 

  2. Make your introductions valuable by turning on Donut Conversation Starters with your Intro message. They're a fun way to get colleagues talking and to break the ice. 

    1. If you're looking for additional Icebreakers, check more out here.

  3. You can also customize your Intro message to include instructions on how to connect remotely, like how to set up a Zoom, or a list of easy topics for discussion.

  4. Try using Donut’s Google Calendar integration which respects set work hours across time zones and makes scheduling a time to chat easy. 

  5. Consider offering a budget or the ability to expense a coffee or donut. It's not uncommon for teammates to each take a Donut call from their respective coffee shops or from the comfort of their home — and even to cheers via Zoom!

  6. Check your reports regularly for valuable stats and feedback that will help you make adjustments along the way.

  7. Consider using some of our Ready- made Templates to get the most out of using Donut remotely!

    1. Some of our favorite Intro Template examples include:

      1. LifeLabs Manager Meetups: Help your managers connect, grow, and feel supported by offering peer mentor circles. Just create a #leadership channel and invite managers to join.

      2. Run a lunch lottery: Create an automated lunch lottery where Donut selects one group to grab sponsored lunch together each round.

      3. Run a CEO lottery: Randomly select one or more lucky winner(s) to grab coffee (virtually!) and meet with the CEO periodically.

      4. DEI Mini Actions: Small exercises to start practicing ideas of inclusion and equity on a regular basis. Designed to run alongside the DEI Mini Action Watercooler pack.

Do Even More with Donut

Keeping employees engaged can also happen asynchronously! Help prevent Zoom fatigue or additional meetings on your team's calendar by considering other Donut features. For example:

  • Donut Watercooler: Watercooler posts regular topics in a Slack channel to encourage asynchronous conversations between teammates. The topics can range from light-hearted and fun, like "What's the most beautiful place you've ever seen?" to thought-provoking or personal discussions such as "What's one personal goal you have this year?" Watercooler topics are an easy and effective way to get teammates talking.

Pro-Tip: Donut Watercooler & Intros can run in the same channel!

  • Donut Celebrations: Creating a Celebrations channel will allow you to automate birthday and work anniversary messages in a Slack channel of your choosing. Donut can help you ensure that everyone is included in these congratulatory moments without setting up complicated reminders for your People team! On a paid plan, you can even create custom Celebrations for your team.

🍩 Need help setting things up? Hit the purple chat button on the right-hand side of the screen, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!

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