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Rebuilding with health promotion

Furtwangen University meets challenges with health initiatives for employees

At Furtwangen University, the reconstruction measures after the cyber attack are in full swing. Head of Administration Andrea Linke is extremely satisfied: "We managed to set up new communication channels, relaunch a learning platform, scan our data inventory and reinstall the business computers of hundreds of employees in just four weeks," she recounts. Even compared to other universities in similar situations, she says she is very proud of how quickly HFU regained its ability to operate.  "We are working together in a very focused way as an interdisciplinary team," the chancellor says. In online info sessions and via an internal info portal, university management keeps employees at all campuses up to date and reports regularly on the status of the many different projects. "Of course, it's not all progress. Our WLAN, for example, still couldn't be rolled out across the board on all locations, partly because the providers simply can't respond quickly enough. That's annoying for many employees I know," says the Head of Administration.

Across the board, university leadership is very aware that the aftermath of the cyberattack is a major challenge for everyone. "We are very grateful that the vast majority of our employees are facing the crisis with a great deal of positive drive and are dealing with the situation very flexibly," says President Rolf Schofer. However, it is not enough to simply express gratitude and appreciation. "We would like to remind our employees, especially in these demanding times, not to go beyond their own limits," says Andrea Linke. With HFU's cooperation partner, Techniker Krankenkasse, a "health week" was therefore launched at the beginning of the week, during which HFU employees can take advantage of many different offers every day for a healthy balance during their working hours. "Despite everything, we don't just have the rapid reconstruction of our IT structure on our minds," emphasises Rolf Schofer. "Right now, the care for each and every individual is very close to our hearts." Even before the cyber attack, HFU had launched an internal training programme to become a "mental first aider." "We are pleased that 14 employees at all locations have now started this training," reports Andrea Linke.