Stay home, stay 6 feet apart if you go out. These rules are harder for some than others, but we have to follow them if we want to have the lowest chance of catching or spreading The Coronavirus aka COVID-19. We are humans, though, and humans still want to communicate and connect with each other.

This is the first time in human history that the internet has existed during a global pandemic. We can still communicate and sometimes work right from the comfort of our own homes!

What are the best ways to communicate remotely during the corona crisis? Read on for the top 5.

Ongoing Group Chat

A great way to communicate remotely is a group chat. Google voice, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and even texting provides an environment where you and your coworkers or loved ones can talk to each other at any point in the day.

Group chats are great for collaboration, but it also might be a good idea to have a separate group chat that acts like the water cooler at work or to keep up with friends. Over there you and your coworkers can bond and small talk. This will provide an outlet for everyone which is very needed in these times.

Video Chat (Skype)

Video chat services are the obvious choice for conference calls. We all think of Skype when we think of video chats, but there are more options.

All are great options. Many of these professional options require a monthly fee, but that is to be expected. You want the highest quality of call if you are using the app for your business.

Video chats are the closest thing we have to be in person. You can see someone’s face, hear their voice, and share files in real-time. Video chats are great for big questions that are hard to explain in text as well as quick collaboration between professionals and at-home happy hours among friends.

Good Ole Email

Don’t neglect good ole emailing. Sometimes it is the perfect venue for sharing documents, quick questions, and lengthy explanations. Older employees and loved ones will also feel most comfortable with this venue of communication.

Emailing is also free! You will not need anything but a hot internet connection to exchange quality emails back and forth with your colleges, friend, and loved ones. So, don’t feel like you need to start a video call if you could simply write a message and press send.

Speak CLEARLY

According to Forbes.com, the best solutions are created when the big picture is known and understood by those assigned to solve the problem. To make this happen, you need to communicate very clearly and specifically no matter what message or video conference you choose.

Since you can no longer communicate face to face, speaking and writing clearly are even more important. Much more can be lost in translation over the distance between you and your co-workers, loved ones, and friends. Make the extra effort to communicate well.

Plan, Plan, Plan!

Don’t forget to plan as usual, especially if you’re the boss or leader in a collaboration group of any kind. Set long and short term goals. Give people clearly worded projects with achievable deadlines. Check in with each other about progress often.

Planning is also even more important now that you have to deal with messages and conference calls. Some co-workers or loved ones may not know how to get technology working and you will have to teach them.

Others may be poor at communicating online and will need guidance. Don’t just plan what messenger and video chat apps to use. Plan everything! Plan, plan, plan!