fun and work @ work place

There are two conflicting school of thoughts in my mind about balancing fun and work at work. One of my colleague reminded (because Siddharth had told me about the same sometime) me today of British or (generally) western style of working. Brits work only during office hours of 9-5 whatever is that time window of 8 hrs is. But during those 8 hours, all they do is work. They don’t waste time or should I say, spend time on activities which are not related to work. But as their 8hrs are over, they rush to home or anywhere but office.

I also like that kind of working atmosphere and ideally I would have worked like that only. But if I work like that focusing only on my work, will I not be considered aloof? I am seeing people huddled in one cube, may be sharing some sweets or some joke. Should I not press Windows L and leave my desk , go and join them? If I do that I will be loosing time close to half an hour. Because after that entire party might move to terrace for sharing puff and coffe. Such occasions will occur several times in day. So everyday, I will lose considerable time, which if I had put in work, I would have wounded up my work early and left early and could find time for host of other activities. But if I come to office, work and leave, and continue this for long, will I not be considered aloof by my colleague. At any new work place, one would like to make new friends and make the friendship closer. But that would not be possible if all I do in office is work.

Where to draw line?

That colleague of mine told that it’s all in mind. Ultimately, if one speaks politely to a colleague and asks for help, he will be helped, and what more one expects from a colleague.
I wasn’t fully convinced with this to accept completely the new style of working. Even though I actually work in that style to a great extent unconsciously for some reason.

Yet after this discussion I fail to find where to draw line, which school of thought is good for me. Perhaps someone reading this might be able to suggest. I feel that it solely depends on person and his abilities. Sachin for example, can talk to all his friends/colleagues, afford to join in any number of puffs or TT games and still be able to finish work on/before deadlines. I on the other hand will have to compromise on one thing to achieve the other.