Homeoffice trend accelerated by Covid-19 – and how ERP can help

Empty streets, closed stores and canceled events – things that were previously part of our everyday lives have been put on hold for the time being. The measures taken are tough but absolutely necessary to slow down the spread of Covid-19. The economy has not been spared either and is being put to the test. Small and medium-sized companies in particular are facing major challenges and are uncertain about the future. Nobody knows exactly what to do, as there has never been a comparable situation before. Many companies are therefore currently undergoing a rethink. What was unthinkable for a long time is now becoming the norm – working models such as mobile working and working from home are no longer an abstract idea but are increasingly being implemented so that tasks don’t fall through the cracks. Many companies are not prepared for this change. In this article, we would like to give you some useful tips to help you remain productive in homeoffice and counteract economic downturns.

Homeoffice – working from home in times of corona

In order to contain the spread of Covid-19, most of us are forced to move our work and leisure time to our own four walls from now on. Familiar work processes are no longer possible and many of us have to restructure our everyday lives. Anyone who has a traditional office job can theoretically work from home. This option is currently being taken up more and more, with many employees working from home. Especially for parents who are affected by daycare and school closures, this is an opportunity to continue working and look after their children at the same time. Chains of infection are interrupted, work does not have to be stopped and productivity is maintained despite everything – a solution that benefits everyone.

German companies are far behind

Topics such as flexible working hours and homeoffice have often been discussed in the past, but this rather novel working model has yet to really catch on. German companies and institutions are far behind their international competitors. In many places, doubters have slowed down the progress of digitalization in recent years. According to a study by the Institute for Employment Research, only around a quarter of employees in Germany have the option of working from home – but 80% of employees in large companies and around 60% of employees in small companies would expressly like this option. The result: many companies are not prepared for the current situation. Technical requirements are lacking and isolated solutions do not allow employees to work outside the company walls.

Staying productive while working from home – what you should bear in mind

Working from home is currently more in focus than ever. For some it is easy, but for many employees it is also a big change. Familiar structures and work processes are completely eliminated and those who are used to working regularly according to a set rhythm are probably overwhelmed by the freedom of working from home and find it difficult to develop a work routine. However, homeoffice also has some advantages and it is quite possible to be productive and focused if you keep a few things in mind. What is needed now is a new approach, which above all requires discipline, focus and clear boundaries.

What is needed for a homeoffice workplace?

Basically, you don’t need much to be able to work from home. Digitalization has long made location-independent working possible. The IT department should provide you with the necessary technical hardware such as a laptop or desktop PC, if not already available. You also need a fast and stable internet connection. You also need to ensure that you have all the necessary access authorizations. You can dial into the company network via VPN (Virtual Private Network) – and you’re ready to go!

Create a productive environment

If the layout of your home allows it, set up a separate area in the house that is only intended for work. Ideally, you should have a separate room for this purpose. You should not be in this area outside of working hours. It is best to place your desk by a window so that you are surrounded by natural light.

Clearly separate work and leisure time

Probably the biggest challenge when working from home is the many distractions. Quickly doing something around the house, doing the shopping and if you can’t resist the temptations you find in the house, you’ll quickly find yourself on the couch. It is important to keep work and private life strictly separate, otherwise the two will increasingly mix. You are responsible for organizing yourself and having the necessary discipline. Remove distractions from your field of vision, put your cell phone in another room if you don’t need it for work and make it clear to your family that you are at your desk at work and are only available in urgent cases – because after every involuntary break you need about 25 minutes to get back into your usual working rhythm.

Time management in the homeoffice

Working from home naturally lacks the feeling of coming home and finishing work, which is why many people feel unproductive. To counteract this, you can write down your to-do’s for the next working day the evening before, for example. You will get more done and feel much more productive at the end of the day if you can cross a few items off your list and see what you have achieved. Also set a clear start and end point for the working day. This will make it easier for you to develop a working rhythm and it will be easier to mentally separate yourself from the work if you finish it at a fixed point.


Without a clear boundary, you don’t have a real end to work and being permanently on call only leads to mental stress. Also make sure you take active breaks. But don’t make the mistake of spending them on the couch, for example. Otherwise, 30 minutes can quickly turn into three hours. Use the time when you are most productive and prioritize your tasks according to importance. It also helps many people to start with a task that is the most difficult or takes up the most time. Once you have successfully mastered this task, the others will also be easier.

Also go to work mentally

For many people, the working day begins with the journey to the office, which is of course not necessary when working from home. Even if you are at home, get up early and get ready as if you were going to the office. Sweatpants may be comfortable, but they don’t create a working atmosphere. Instead, choose an outfit that you would also wear to the office. This will also make it easier for you to communicate with your colleagues and customers at eye level.

Use communication opportunities

The emotional connection to the team should not be lost. Digitalization makes it possible to stay in contact with colleagues and customers. So, try to actively maintain contact, even if it’s not the same as the usual coffee break with your colleagues.

Slack and Teamviewer are among the beneficiaries of the crisis

In most crises, there are many losers but also a few winners. The latter often include those who respond to society’s problems with a solution. Given the current situation, it can be assumed that more and more employees are taking advantage of the opportunity to work from home. As a result, the demand for co-working tools is also steadily increasing, as collaboration can still be maintained despite the lack of personal contact. Companies such as Slack, Teamviewer and Zoom are currently experiencing an upswing on the stock market and are clearly among the beneficiaries of the crisis. Microsoft, for example, has seen a six-fold increase in the use of its “Teams” tool. However, despite this success, profit is not the main focus for many companies. To make working during this time a little more pleasant for everyone, some are lowering the prices of their products or offering functions for free for a certain period of time.

Advantages of cloud-based systems

If you use a cloud-based system, you benefit from a number of advantages. It is therefore not surprising that demand is currently growing by leaps and bounds. A standardized database ensures that everyone can work in real time and with the most up-to-date data. In addition, there is no need for high initial investments and you can work from any location. Find out more about the various cloud models and their benefits here.


In the long term, crises always have social consequences. Current developments also point to a fundamental change in society. In recent years, digitalization has often been viewed critically. Data protection officers raised objections and productivity was called into question. A mistake that many companies are now feeling the effects of. The economy is being ejected into the digital future – those who can’t or don’t want to keep up are going under. The current situation could give a lasting boost to the topics of homeoffice and mobile working in Germany. Even if the current situation is forcing companies to push ahead with digitalization, the development of modern, digital strategies should also be given a higher priority regardless of the current situation.

Corona permanently changed the world of work

The most important thing now, however, should be to look positively to the future. An optimally equipped workplace is all well and good, but it’s no use if you don’t approach things with the right attitude. If everyone sticks together during this time and shows the necessary self-discipline, we are convinced that we will also overcome this situation. Despite all the bad news we are currently hearing on a daily basis, initial measures to contain the novel virus have also started to have a positive impact: Air pollution in China, for example, has decreased significantly. Satellite images published by the space agency NASA show that nitrogen dioxide pollution has fallen significantly.

TimeLine employees are also working from home. Nevertheless, we are there for you as usual! Sales, project management, accounting and customer service – neither productivity nor our customers suffer from this situation. If you would like to find out more about working from home or the full range of TimeLine ERP functions, please send us a message using the contact form, write to [email protected] or contact our sales team on +49 212 230 35 200. We look forward to hearing from you and stay healthy!