What is the new normal?
Fora Form

The Corona virus reminds us of the importance of meetings

We’re committed to creating successful meetings. However, what happened to our schedule this week might change how we host and how we value meetings. What is the new normal?

Written by Pål 13.03.2020

Global meltdown, the Black Swan crash or Corona crisis, they all depict the same gloomy picture. For one, it’s the fact that social distancing is keeping us from having social contact, and that changes some of the dynamics in culture and in the work environment itself. Businesses needs to find a new form to communicate in order to maintain the wheels in motion and keeping common goals, that part is the easy part. The difficult part is to maintain the informal contact and the great benefits thereof.

Con stoler med meier og Roma bord Fora Form

A week ago, we were worried how to make next week schedule come together. By the middle of the week meeting after meeting got cancelled, and by the end of the week we were also preparing for social distancing.

The second consequence was that in a short period in time the world saw values and business foundations crumble. A week ago, we were worried how to make next week schedule come together. By the middle of the week meeting after meeting got cancelled, and by the end of the week we were also preparing for social distancing. Behind that busy schedule were people. People whose needs had shifted, and by prioritizing what needed to come first. The basis for business looked gloomy, and the news about the market did not help.

Businesses needs to find a new form to communicate in order to maintain the wheels in motion and keeping common goals...

Myk bord og Planet stol Fora Form

One might even say that we got knocked down a few levels on Maslow’s pyramid of needs. Going from realizing personal potential, seeking self-fulfillment or seeking personal growth to basic physiological needs and the next level safety needs where security is a need. We all had the same reaction and put our families and our next of kind first, so we could help the community stop the virus.

As a company Fora Form is committed to creating great meetings, it’s a part of our business idea and preach about interaction and the benefits there of. How interactions that overcome social status, color of your skin, political standpoints or sexual orientation will benefit your organization and bring increased innovation, insight and improved work environment. This week, we and everyone else around us, realized how much value is created in meetings and by getting together.

Informal meet ups with our colleagues is part of our daily routine; without the morning coffee how will you know what and how other people are doing? There are no more impromptu meetings by fridge as you said something funny and got validated that “he’s a great guy”. No more getting people in a room to fix a problem over the table with the stakeholder present.

This week, we and everyone else around us, realized how much value is created in meetings and by getting together.

Fjell konferansestoler i et møterom hos Fora Form

Stories of companies that developed online morning meetings as mandatory to give a sense of team spirit and pulse keeper. The companies would follow-up with after-noon meetings to debrief and set-up status to make sure that as many wheels as possible were up and running. Managers need to map out meetings through channels that maintain the organizational culture, and how are you going to keep finding the same sprit? The meeting that you normally scheduled in a sofa to make it more informal, what channel will provide the same output?

Without meeting people and being able to influence your partners and key stakeholders in the desired direction, how can you influence them now?

External meetings are the ones that hurt us the most and may be one of the reasons to blame for the global economic meltdown. Without meeting people and being able to influence your partners and key stakeholders in the desired direction, how can you influence them now? What tools to you have available? This can’t carry on forever, what is the new normal?

Many companies have a well-developed culture for online meetings. State-of-the-art online meeting systems that allows you to have meetings across regardless of physical location. As our schedule was slowly, but surely shriveling away many tried to make their meetings online.

While using videoconference for internal meetings is not uncommon, but not for external. Getting to know how to use the hardware will be a steep learning curve itself, but also finding a platform. A platform where you meet as many as possible and making sure that you don’t exclude anyone with a specific software. Many businesses do not have the hardware that is required, and others have no idea how to book an online meeting externally even though they have an operative system.

Con barstoler hos Aker BP Eureka Ark int Magu design Foto Arne Bru Haug

Can this epidemic nudge people to develop more to digital external meetings quicker than it has before? And how will this change future of the meeting room setup? For now, the only thing we know is that there is going to be a new normal. Our prediction is that the interface between you and your stakeholders might have a new focus, and our job is to find out how to facilitate it.


The irony of the story is that the solution may very well be what was doomed to end physical meetings. Tools like social media, email and video conferences, have all been in the center of negative future scenarios. Scenarios that depict a future with no interpersonal contact, and decreased involvement and box thinking as a result. Some of the scenarios might have some truth to them. We’ve seen horrific examples of what algorithms that favors like-minded thinking can bring out in people. Fora Form believes in finding channels that maintain the interaction that brings people together despite their differences, and to continue bringing the organization a diverse outlook also after this crisis.

Clint stoler med lav rygg og armlen sammen med Roma elipse bord Fora Form

In times like this we need to plan for a new tomorrow. Make sure that we can have a morning coffee in a few months with the same friendly jokes at each other’s expense without anyone feeling that they don’t belong anymore. The true challenge is to keep the sense of community.