In autumn 2021 we reported on the survey results of the Occupational Health Management (OHM) survey “Working conditions and health at MLU”. How did this proceed now and what does it mean in relation to you personally?
The results were presented in 4 public university presentations and in various committee meetings in autumn 2021. The participating employees already had the opportunity to ask questions and provide more detailed information. Furthermore, there was an offer to hold discussions or workshops in the work areas in order to find out more about the causes of stress and to derive helpful measures. This offer was accepted in several cases. The participants jointly developed proposals to make their working conditions more conducive to health. On the one hand, these suggestions are implemented in the work areas themselves, but on the other hand, it was also looked at to what extent suggestions could be transported to the working group “Health” and also to the university management.
At the same time, possible measures for occupational health management were discussed in the working group “Health” in 4 meetings spread over the year 2022. Some of these have already been implemented, others are on their way or have been addressed to the responsible departments. In a next step, the proposals for health-promoting working conditions will be presented to the new university management in order to jointly design an overall strategy for a healthy MLU.
Focus on mental health – work situation analysis
One focus of the OHM is the mental health of employees. Against this background, employees of the university have had the opportunity since the middle of this year to participate with their team in a work situation analysis. This is a procedure that aims to improve one’s own specific work situation or the working conditions in the team or work area. In dialogue with the team, the resources and also the stresses on mental health in the work area are systematically identified. At the same time, approaches to solving the stress factors are developed together. You can find more information about the work situation analysis in the corresponding article here on the blog. The work situation analysis can also be used to make anonymous suggestions for improvement in the health working group, so that stresses and strains that occur frequently at team level can also be taken into account and dealt with at a higher level.
A recurring burden in the in-depth discussions and workshops so far is the current design of the administrative processes at MLU. In order to create working conditions that promote health, it is necessary to make administrative processes simpler and more time-saving in the future. Of course, this is not (only) in the hands of OHM. However, we do take on board needs and suggestions and pass them on to the relevant decision-making bodies.
We also looked at the issue of overload. Our goal is to make the process of reporting overload more transparent and easier for those affected.
These are just a few examples of the current activities in OHM. We are planning further measures and discussions to promote the development of health-promoting structures.
Academic Bicycle Challenge
A second focus for healthy work is the topic of exercise. Most of us sit a lot at our desks, which creates one-sided stress. We have therefore made it our goal to bring more movement into our everyday working lives. In June 2022, all members of the University were able to take part in the Academic Bicycle Challenge, which was organized in cooperation with the Sustainability Office, Student Health Management and the Central Communications Office. A total of 537 cyclists had registered, 34 teams had come together to cycle. The month was accompanied by various events and activities, such as a family festival to kick things off, a cycling cinema and a joint cycling tour to Petersberg. All in all, the MLU cycled 111.140 km during the month of action! A great achievement! The best teams and individual cyclists were honoured at the Long Night of the Sciences.
Continuously height-adjustable desks
Another concrete implementation measure is that from now on, when new desks are purchased, there is always the option of an infinitely height-adjustable desk. The OHM had also campaigned for this. It has been proven that the active use of such desks can significantly reduce absenteeism due to musculoskeletal disorders. The preventive aspect was important to us. If possible, musculoskeletal disorders should not occur in the first place – at least not as a result of working at a desk. Since we at MLU are currently in a difficult financial situation, this decision is currently limited to the purchase of new desks. Nevertheless, it is a success for us and we are very happy about it!
Other health-promoting offers
Even before the survey, you already had the opportunity to benefit from health-promoting offers such as massages, seminars on topics related to (mental) health, individual measurements of health data and consultations on the topic of healthy working. You will continue to find the current offers and events bundled on the OHM blog.
We will also inform you about further innovations on the OHM blog. Your health is important for MLU. That is what we are committed to.