How's It Going? Ask Your Teleworkers

Once a telework program is in place, it's important to monitor that program on an ongoing basis. How can you find out if your own program is working? One way is to ask your own teleworkers. That's the advice from -- and the practice at -- Nortel Networks.

Meet Regularly
Nortel telework program managers make a point of getting groups of their teleworkers together to share their insights and learn from the best practices they develop.

Ask Questions Mary McClintock is a product development manager for teleworking solutions at Nortel. She works at Nortel's offices at Raleigh, N.C. Ms. McClintock holds quarterly meetings involving herself and about twenty other teleworkers to get their input. At those meetings, she asks her telecommuting colleagues:

Valuable Suggestions
Since holding these regular meetings, Nortel's teleworkers have offered a number of useful suggestions and examples of best practices have come forth, such as:

Share Insights and Ideas
At Nortel, the teleworkers' training includes a mandate to communicate with peers and share insights and knowledge. Such sharing not only helps spread good ideas and practices, but according to Ms. McClintock, it builds a sense of community among the company's teleworkers. "It brings teleworkers together," says McClintock. "Sometimes teleworkers feel they're not part of the group anymore. They're kind of on their own. Now they're actually part of a new organization of teleworkers."