Ask your workplace IT for a discussion about what a VPN is. If you did access your local network then the VPN is broken and not doing what a VPN should. What a VPN is, is well documented and what you are asking for is a leaky VPN which doesn't exist for a good reason.
Again, your office IT should take a few minutes to help you catch up on how a VPN works and why your efforts failed.
I have an XP Pro laptop, my work computer, that logs onto a domain. When I work from home I use my home wireless network to get an Internet connection and then use VPN to connect to my corporate domain. The user account is a domain account that uses cached info to log onto Windows.
My home network includes a Canon MX850 MFP, connected by Ethernet to my router. I'd like to be able to use that printer wirelessly from my laptop. If I ping the IP address of my router from the laptop the request times out, and if I try to access it through my web browser the IP address is not found, but I'm obviously connected to it since I'm online.
What steps do I need to take to be able to print from my laptop? I'd also (ideally) like to be able to share files and folders with my home computers but the printer is the most important thing.