Virtually Human: Creating Team Cohesion Without Being Together

This article was originally published on Humentum

When I started my career in 1990 working for a small international agency, we still had a Telex machine, but we never used it. Instead, we heavily relied on fax. One of my duties was to collect the piles of curled pages lying on the floor after one of our project offices had sent through a report. I’d sort the pages into the correct order and set the pile on a table under a heavy weight to flatten before handing it to my executive director. The following day, I’d assist in faxing back a reply.

Today, most workers have never even used a fax machine. Instead, we struggle with the volume of email exchanged every day with colleagues, even while adjusting to the proliferation of apps offering even more ways to communicate and collaborate virtually. As a result, we now seem to be seeing the dawn of the fully virtualized workplace.


As a case in point, Humentum recently made the decision to transition to a virtual workplace model. In place of a collection of offices in several locations around the world, they’ll organize into a network of individuals primarily working from home. I would argue that this is a brave, strategic and—some may say—risky decision. It is also likely a prophetic choice, when we stop to imagine the workplace 25 years hence.

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