WINNIPEG -- The pandemic has left many of us working from home, and some wonder if people will continue to work from home post-COVID-19.

Dr. Brent Roussin - Manitoba’s chief public health officer said physical distancing and working from home are part of the new normal.

“Businesses that were able to move to…working from home, virtual meetings all of these things – if that worked well, yes I would encourage you to maintain those activities,” said Roussin.

He said Manitoba is finding ways to live and reopen the province with this virus, and any steps that can prevent people from being crowded are beneficial.

Robert Warren - managing director of Mean Eyed Cat Venture Labs, a consulting agency for start-up companies said working from home will have a major impact on commercial real estate.

“Companies realize a lot of jobs don’t need to have expensive real estate,” said Warren. “They can set you up at home for much less money.”

Warren said it’s going to change the way commercial buildings are put together, and the way commercial realtors attract tenants.

Some people are finding it difficult to work from home, and are looking for space where they can be productive.

Jason Abbott is the founder and CEO of Launch Coworking Space – a membership-based shared office company where remote workers can rent space on a monthly basis.

He said he’s received five new members in the last week.

“The member that just joined us, they were looking to reduce some of their cost,” said Abbott. “They were spending a lot of money in their real estate, and they discovered that working from home was doable for many of their staff members.”

Mike Iwasiow is a member of Launch, he said working in his house is a challenge.

“Since COVID-19, I have two young kids at home, and it just became pretty much impossible to focus at home,” said Iwasiow.

Iwasiow is the CEO of BookedIn – an online scheduling company.

He said he used to have an office space – but before COVID-19 he got rid of it – now he splits his time between home and Launch.

“Definitely when COVID hit, I pretty much (started) working here full time,” he said

He believes moving forward we’ll see more people working from home and in shared office spaces.

“Now that large companies have been forced to adopt all these technologies that are required to let people work from home…I think it will be an option for a lot more people.”