Donut App. Virtual Coffees During Pandemics

Any large-scale human cooperation […] is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination.

Yuval Harari (Sapiens)

As Yuval Harari wrote in his best-selling book Sapiens, companies exist because of a strong common belief across many individuals. This is especially true for startups. Defying the seemingly unsurmountable odds of building a successful product without stepping on the countless of landmines that could crush one’s endeavour, requires a very strong “collective imagination” to put it into Harari’s words.

With the pandemic forcing most of us to work from home it is hard to stay connected with your employees and keep up the common belief and optimism. Therefore, right now more than ever we need to socialize and keep reemphasising that shared purpose and belief in success.

Catchups between employees is the best way to do it. However, scheduling them manually is usually a tedious task that might be agreed upon at first but is later often neglected. Luckily, we have stumbled across a great tool that automates this and takes away the burden.

Meet the Donut app for Slack which we have recently discovered. You can easily integrate it with Slack and as soon as you join the Donut channel, you will be paired up with other employees at your company for a virtual watercooler break. The picture below shows the typical start of an interaction. It includes a private messaging group with the employee you have been paired with and a changing ice-breaker question.

Start of a Donut conversation

The app has also some cool additional features, such as Awards to the most active employees or their most recent invention, the “CEO coffee lottery”. In the lottery random employees are selected to connect with the CEO.

Donut CEO Lottery

We found the app very useful to continue the coffee catchups and keep morale high even during home office. We hope it works for you too.


We’d love to hear if you have other tools to stay engaged within your employees – let us know in the comments section on Medium!  

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