When you limit the dimensions of a face-to-face communication to the dimenions of a written communication, it is tautological to say the are the same.But the advantage of face-to-face is exactly having more communication dimensions.At this level, other aspect of the project management are likely better target for optimisation. We are living in digital world, where you talk to your friends online more than you see them face-2-face.The communication between colleagues is pretty much the same.But it does not follow that internet or just written communication is significantly deficient in an overwhelming majority of situations in our field.
You can reach a stopping point and then answer them at your convenience.
The more complex the project, the less you want to collaborate with that person, if only because his claims that he can say the things that he is incapable of writing, are not true.
But then you can help him put in words what is worrying him, even if he is incapable of saying. It is interaction in different levels, not just exchange of sequential, defined messages.
The downside is that when you're building something complex the communication overhead is too big.
Another thing is that remote workers in vastly different timezones provide a time window for architectural discussions which can be too short.
When someone is sitting next to you, it's easy to nudge him and ask "what do you make of this? When he's somewhere else, you may have to paste or point to the code, possibly include screen shots, figure out how to give him access to the code running locally on your machine, etc.