On Tuesday, November 2nd 2021, the SME Connect Initiative Healthy Lifestyle at Work & Home organised the kick-off webinar titled “Job-Fit im Homeoffice: Gesunde Mitarbeiter durch Bewegung, Ernährung und innere Ruhe” aiming to generate more mindfulness among employers and their employees to discuss problems and opportunities during remote working and provide useful advice while at the same time addressing professionals in order to promote exchanges and develop practical impetus or projects for small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Among the speakers were TOBIAS GOTTHARDT, Member of the Bavarian State Parliament, Chairman of the Committee for Federal and European Affairs in the Bavarian State Parliament, Patronage for startups and young entrepreneurs of the SME Connect Initiative; JÜRGEN SCHIMMEL, Founder & Consultant, Schimmel & Consulting- Training- Consulting- Coaching; NADJA HIRSCH, Psychologist and expert for mental strength & success, Managing Director of Coachoo GmbH; MARCO SCHERBAUM, CEO Health for All GmbH; EWS Supervisory Board; Prof. Dr Biol. Hum. MARION FLECHTNER-MORS, Nutritionist, Ulm University Hospital; ANDREAS MEHL, Director Partner Management, Scheelen Institute; KATJA SCHÄFER, Pedagogue, art therapist, coach & trainer for stress prevention, Member of the Burnout Network; JONATHAN BEIL, Recovery Coach for professional athletes & entrepreneurs; Marion Schneider, Managing Director, Toskanaworld GmbH and others. 

The Focus was on the importance of the separation of the work, family and private life during the corona pandemic. In particular on how entrepreneurs can contribute and support the physical and emotional health & wellbeing of their employees through nutrition, exercise and the careful management of the inner resources.

TOBIAS GOTTHARDT, Member of the Bavarian State Parliament stressed that in particular for young entrepreneurs, healthy lifestyles at work often takes a back seat when forgetting to take the right breaks every now and then.  “The great challenge for employers and employees alike but also for the politics is to create framework conditions that allow sustainable economic management that also focusses on a healthy lifestyle at the workplace to ensures that work does not become a danger”. The importance in times of corona lies on the prevention of mental health-related issues to safeguard an equal work-life balance. “We must politically adapt the guidelines in such a way that they do not harm anyone, but are as flexible as the living world demands of us.”

The SME Connect initiative was launched in Brussels in 2020. The focus is on nutrition, exercise and mental health. The aim is to support small and medium-sized enterprises in informing their employees about health issues, making offers and guaranteeing networking with the right partners. So far, this important issue has been discussed at the EU level. With Germany, this project is being introduced for the first time at the level of a Member State. The Burnout Network has been won as a kick-off partner for Germany. The initiative is supported by the European Economic Senate and the European Taxpayers’ Federation.

The Healthy Lifestyle at Work & Home Initiative will bring together SMEs of all sectors to outline challenges & solutions and therefore actively contribute to a healthy future of all citizens. Through webinars, workshops and pilot projects, we will raise the awareness of the role of nutrition, physical activity and inner peace on physical and mental health. 

For this reason, we invite all stakeholders and experts from politics, administration, science, civil society and businesses to join us in this endeavour.