Alternative Takeaways with Helen Barker, Counsel for Knowledge Management at Diageo

Here are three takeaways from Helen Barker, Counsel for Knowledge Management at Diageo, at our recent In-House Legal Hangout where our panel discussed the challenges of remote working.


“Because we don’t have face to face time in the office, we’ve had to take much more focused steps at creating that interaction. So we’ve moved to team meetings and socialising online.

I’ve observed that, over the period of lockdown, we are missing the interaction that you have in the office and how important that office environment is.

If you were to just jump on a video call with somebody very quickly to speak to them, you are getting the face to face interaction and that’s not quite the same as being in the room, but it’s a pretty good alternative.”

Helen explained just how important it is to find alternative ways to stay in touch with colleagues when you don’t have the option to meet in person.


Collaborating may be easier during a team brainstorm in the boardroom but there are other ways and resources to access teamwork at home, thanks to technology.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s anything that the lockdown has thrown up that immediately makes us think there’s a specific way to go, but I think we have a general roadmap that we want to start embracing more.

So I think what this does is it just really reinforces that, as we go forward, we need to be thinking about how you do that collaboratively.”

Lockdown has forced companies to think about new strategies and ways to work together when teams aren’t all in the same space.


Pivoting, when your team or clients feel that something isn’t working, is key.

“It’s really only where those enterprise-provided platforms really cannot meet the needs that we have identified and the clients have identified, that we were looking at something more specific. So that’s the approach.”

For full details of the Alternative Hangouts series please click here.