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Digital general meeting

The Institute held its first digital general staff meeting on Tuesday 31st March. The attendance was very high and there was a good atmosphere, so we aim to hold more meetings of this kind soon.

Screenshot from Zoom

Screen shot from Zoom showing 75 participants at Tuesday’s meeting Photo: UiO/Zoom

The Head of the Institute, Lene Frost Andersen, and the Head of Administration, Linda Teigland Helgesen, invited the staff at IMB to a digital general meeting using UiO’s digital conference platform Zoom. 160 participants attended the Norwegian version of the meeting, while just over 70 attended the English meeting.

Cheers from the management

The general meeting began with everybody saying “hello” to each other in unison, before the Head of the Institute, Lene Frost Andersen, began with a review of how the situation is affecting each and every one of us at the moment.

Collage of three researchers, working from their homes
Researchers working from home. Photo: Private

We were given a brief look at the home offices of some of our researchers before there was a rather humorous but at the same time stern warning about not starting up laboratories at home!

Lene also told us a little about how lecturers are solving the present problems related to teaching and showed a short extract from one of Koen Vervaeke’s lectures.
She thanked all those who for different reasons are obliged to go to work as usual in order to keep key operations running.

At the same time, she revealed that she is running for re-election as Head of the Institute and urged anyone interested in running as a counter candidate to come forward.

Speaking on the telephone after the meeting, Lene said that she felt the meeting had worked just as she had hoped and that she and Linda had been so inspired by all IMB’s teachers who have rolled up their sleeves and solved many problems in record time.

We were inspired by our enterprising teachers who threw themselves straight into the challenge of the Zoom world, so we realised that IMB’s management should not fall short in comparison!

Further, Lene explained that she and Linda wanted to show that they are there for the staff, even though neither of them could go to work as usual.

We also wanted to see people’s faces and meet our employees in a rather more personal way than can be done by sending out emails. It is important to us that everybody knows that we are faced with the same problems as other members of staff in the current crisis and that we are here for them, said Lene at the end of our brief telephone conversation.

We should do this again!

The Head of Administration, Linda Teigland Helgesen, sent this reply by email so that she would have enough time to finish pending tasks that evening:

In spite of a few practical and technical hitches at the start, the digital meeting was a very positive experience. Next time, we will be better prepared and more experienced. It was nice to see so many familiar faces (and some new ones), if only for a brief moment or two!

The short survey carried out by Linda during the meeting showed that the overwhelming majority of participants voted for a repeat performance if the corona situation continues. The results from both the Norwegian and the English attendees were almost identical. There were approx. 160 participants at the Norwegian meeting and over 70 at the English meeting. That means that about two thirds of all our employees chose to log into the Zoom meeting. Several participants were also active on the live chat facility.

This would indicate that staff want and need arenas of this kind. Several shared useful tips for others to take advantage of. All in all an experience we can learn from and utilise again.

Keep up to date via UiO’s web pages!

See also

    By Kyrre Vigestad, Deborah Ann Arnfinsen
    Published Apr. 1, 2020 4:18 PM - Last modified Feb. 18, 2021 5:02 PM