Working collaboratively, online, need some getting used to before you can really be productive. Like all other new things, it has many pros and cons;
It brings down the cost in development-collaboration by making it possible to work with someone thousands of miles away "almost" as if you are in neighboring cubicles. The communication is easily logged and nothing is forgotten. Also there is no limit to the number of people collaborating on a task.
On the other hand, the lack of physical presence can cause lots of confusion in parties; like understanding each other’s mode! (I guess that is what emoticons are for). Also managing participants of a discussion and organizing efforts and tasks could be tedious.
Having said all this, do we have a choice? Just look at the size of the communities handling the projects. Is there any other way than online collaboration? Do we have the budget to get all those taking part in tasks together for a meeting whenever something breaks down?
It is different! It lacks human touch! But like any other new thing, it will, and in fact it has become part of our lives. My wife and I, sometimes, talk with each other through our chat programs from our desks at home, instead of just turning our head and speak up!!!
I believe, if we learn to live with it, like any other piece of technology, it will help us to be more productive. (and less human?)