What I am asked all the time though, is how to make working from home successful, even if just for a day or two. Small organizations rely on people being at work to get the job done. And some jobs, well, they just aren't conducive to working from home.
Here is a quick list of things to ask yourself when employees say "I'm going to work from home today."
What results are expected? Set a clear deliverable for what work is going to be accomplished in the time that they are working from home. This is best achieved when there is follow up afterwards that provides opportunity to see the results. Check in with the employee on what was achieved - not from a control freak point of way - but from a "how are things going?" perspective. For the employee, it shows that you were paying attention to the work they did accomplish and if they are not getting results, it is an opportunity to ask for assistance.
Are they going to be missed? Make sure that co-workers are not going to be hampered in achieving their work deliverables because this employee is not going to be around. Working from home can be good for one person but may cause challenges for others on the team. Have a clear expectation that others aren't going to be inconvenienced by the employee's absence.
Asking these questions can make life a whole lot easier when an employee asks to work from home. And if you are already getting emails from employees that are making the assumption that they can work from home, spending time with them on these questions may cause them to think twice about whether it is an appropriate choice to make.