Stuck in an office?

This is strange. I've been working at home now (bar the odd excursion to Edinburgh or Dublin) for the last eight or so weeks. The last time I tried seriously to work at home, I felt cut-off - I felt that i had to interact with folks in an office to feel that i was part of something.

In the last four weeks, I've been spending serious time working on various things (, for instance) and wondering why I'm finishing work at midnight, or even crazier -working through the night.

It dawned on me that with the Domino Blogsphere (tm), feedreaders such as sharpreader, skype, etc, that I'm more connected now with whats going on than I ever was in an office.

I have to feel sorry for my family - they see me disappear into the home-office (a 1.2m square box!), and type furiously for 12-15 hours on end - little realising that this is now my "world". This little puddle of TFT plasma (well, *big*, for I have the BlingMaster 2000 with the 1900x1200 screen!) is now my work, and my gateway to my online existence. The folks down my local pub, for instance, upon learning that I was mostly working from home, laid on extra beer, peanuts and cleaning supplies. To no avail.

The other odd thing that I've found is that folks in large corporates appear sensitive to this. As a full-time software salesman now (its that thing again), I find that I'm on the eMail and/or IM far more than I expected to be, and in face-to-face meetings on customer sites far less.

I mean today was a good example - kicking off with a four-way bloke-banter eMail discussing pick-up techniques with friends in the US and all over Europe. Constant IM with my colleagues (on all day, every day), IM with my customers. Wishing Rocky a "hit and run get well soon" as (he says) "us short biker geeks gotta stick together".

Location and physical presence have become soo immaterial to this on-line way of life. Sure, the tribes all have to meet up and reinforce these bonds from time to time - Lotusphere being the best example of that. Or User group meetings, and/or project-survivor reunions such as the BigFatLardies (if you dont know - sorry - you never will).

Scary stuff, eh. I honestly dont think I could ever work for one company again, work on a single project, and just interact with my peers in the office. I hate to imagine stepping back from my completely connected existence back to one of tedium, rubber stamping stupidity in a politicised office. I mean - these days for kicks, I go baiting trouble on the Scoble Blog, or stamp on ridiculous MS posturing on others.

Would you ever go back ?