We know a lot of companies (including ours!) have been encouraging or requiring employees to work from home in recent weeks as a precaution due to the coronavirus. For those who aren’t used to working remotely, it can feel easier to connect with someone when everyone’s in the same physical space than connect over the phone or through video chat.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about how to have successful Donut meetings when one or more people are remote, so we wanted to share some tips and tricks on how we use Donut to stay connected (and make meaningful connections!) even when we’re working from home. (If you’re not already using Donut, you can add it to Slack with one click.)
1. Video Donuts.
Working from home for an extended period of time can start to feel isolating, so having a 30-minute video call could be a great way to break up the day. Just as you might have a meeting with a colleague who is working from home for a day, use your company’s preferred video conferencing software to have your Donut meeting. If your company doesn’t have a preferred video conferencing software, Slack calls are a great and convenient option.
2. Ask questions that spark conversation.
Agendaless video calls can sometimes feel awkward. Write down 3-4 topics you might want to talk about during your Donut meeting before the meeting starts or consider using Donut’s Conversation Starters as a jumping-off point. What’s on your mind this week? What are you curious about or interested in learning about this person? Doing a little bit of prep work could go a long way towards making the meeting feel meaningful.
3. Schedule your Donut for a time that feels casual, such as over virtual coffee or lunch.
In-person Donut meetings have the benefit of “filler time,” or a planned activity you can both do together, such as go get lunch, coffee, or go for a walk. Having something to do in addition to talking can make the meeting feel more casual.
4. Play a game together.
Similarly to point #3, having an activity to do like trivia or playing online games during the meeting can make things fun and interesting. Our team put together a list of our favorite games and activities to play remotely to get you started.
5. Go the pen-pal route.
If your schedules just can’t seem to match up, you can have an asynchronous Donut. Spend roughly 30 minutes spread out across the week writing back and forth on Slack or e-mail like pen pals. Ask fun questions or send each other photos to share more about your day-to-day — things like pets, your workspace, or favorite objects can be interesting conversation starters!
Do you have any tips on how to make the most of remote Donuts? We’d love to hear from you! Shoot us an email at [email protected].