I have been working from home for nearly 5.5 years.
The benefits are myriad – not least of which is the minuscule commute and savings on fuel, eating out, etc.
Sometimes I travel for work. This accomplishes many good things – a chance to put faces to names and voices, get a chance to read faces and body language instead of just vocal tones, engage more of a customer’s engineering staff, etc.
Remote meetings (Skype, Lync, Google Hangouts, Webex, GoToMeeting, etc etc) are fantastic tools. Being able to work via VPN or other tools is amazing.
But nothing can replace the face-to-face meeting. Video calls are good, but not a full replacement. As more and more employers embrace optional and/or suggested remote work arrangements, workers can be more and more productive – with less downtime and wasted time (eg commuting).
But never let the power of remote engagement become a full replacement for the power of personal connection when in-person.