SAULT STE. MARIE -- As companies adapt to employees working from home, some experts say it could be the new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Randy Schuran has worked in the finance industry for 34 years but has not stepped foot in his office in nearly three months. He said if his boss gave him the option to permanently work from home, he would pass.

"I wouldn’t do it. I need the camaraderie of a team and working in a physical branch. Actually, I’ve found it difficult in the last nine weeks getting up and putting a suit on, even though I’m just working from home."

Jody-Lynn Rebek is an assistant professor of economics and business at Algoma University.

She said some people struggle when working alone.

"Some people really need colleagues, supervisions to help, direct them, motivate them, guide them throughout the workday and have that collegial environment."

Rebek has found working from home also has its benefits.

She’s eating three meals a day with her children and husband. The drive to work is non-existent but says the first couple of weeks were hard. She needed to set a schedule and stick to it.

"If you’re a worker like me, you’re not going to naturally take a break and that could lead to burnout and feeling exhausted and unhappy."

For Schuran, even with the advancements in technology, nothing will beat face-to-face conversations.

"I find the conversation flows differently when you’re face-to-face versus on the phone or even over zoom calls."

Rebek believes that if a company is forcing its employees to work from home, the staff need to make sure they’re getting the physical and mental support they need from their managers.