Customer Story

Korean Air: Putting workplace communication first with Google Workspace

Korean Air plane in flight

Korean Air uses Google Workspace to simplify the way documents are shared and edited, so it can improve productivity and international communications for its work that is based in the cloud and mobile.

Google Cloud results

• Lets employees focus on collaboration and communication when creating documents, instead of design templates
• Enhances channels available for communication
• Brings together personal schedules and company resource management in one place

“Improving productivity was crucial for us. With Google Workspace, there are no errors or lags, even when many people work on documents simultaneously. And with only one document from start to finish, consistency is high.” —Pil-Moon Jeong, Director of the Information Systems Office, Korean Air

In response to rapid changes in the workplace, Korean Air decided to improve internal collaboration and communications by adopting Google Workspace in April 2019. It was a big change for the company, as it involved a complete overhaul of email, document editing, and internal communication practices.

Adopting new workplace tools means changing the habits and practices of everyone in an organization. Apart from the stress that can come from learning something new, the process itself can impact the entire working environment, culture, and practices. There can also be problems with productivity if employees find it hard to express new ideas because they are not used to new tools. And switching to a new email service needs extra thought because email needs to be used on a daily basis. Despite all of these potential challenges, there’s much to be gained through the change, so in order to make it work, companies must come up with the strategy, vision, and motivation to transform.

The transformation begins the moment new tools are adopted, but it doesn’t end there. More than eight months since beginning to use Google Workspace, Korean Air continues to change its workplace culture and practices one step at a time. At every step, the company’s digital transformation is being integrated into every aspect of its collaboration and communication practices.

Putting productivity, mobility, and security first

For a long time, Korean Air had been contemplating the need to adopt new tools for documents and collaboration. Pil-Moon Jeong, Director of the Information Systems Office, explains that Korean Air chose Google Workspace to prioritize productivity, mobility, and security. “Improving productivity was crucial for us. With Google Workspace, there are no errors or lags, even when many people work on documents simultaneously. And with only one document from start to finish, consistency is high.”

Many documents call for collaboration at Korean Air, and this has become easier with Google Workspace. For weekly meeting memos, each team used to organize its notes for another employee to combine into one document, which was a time-consuming process. With Google Workspace, employees can now create one shared file and grant access to representatives from each team to add its notes, and they say this process is working well.

Mobility is the second reason why Korean Air selected Google Workspace. More and more, smartphones and tablets are becoming “mobile workstations,” and commonly used work devices in addition to notebooks and desktops. Because all work done via Google Workspace is saved in the cloud, work is not confined to physical devices. Employees can log in from anywhere using their mobile devices and carry on with their work.

According to Director Pil-Moon Jeong: “For each flight, our flight attendants have to check various details such as in-flight meals and galley management. With Drive, thousands of flight attendants can now seamlessly share these details with each other. Because the services are saved in the cloud, the crew is updated with the latest information on flight manuals, safety, and security, which they need to have access to at all times.”

Google Drive is also helping with in-flight announcements, which involve a large range of content that is frequently updated. Before, the script could only be updated by connecting tablets containing the information to a PC. With Google Drive, this step is no longer needed as all the latest updates are synced through the Cloud. And when the plane takes off, everything can be viewed offline.

Security is the third reason why Korean Air selected Google Workspace. Previously, it had to adopt extra security measures for company executives’ emails. Now, it no longer feels the need for separate security measures, because the features offered by Google Workspace enable the company to restrict access when needed.

Encouraging a culture of collaboration

“Having too many documents always leads to management issues,” says Director Pil-Moon Jeong. “Sometimes, problems arise from employees working on different versions of the same file. With Google Workspace, we can now have a whole group of people working on one version from start to finish, and with Google Cloud, we can also maintain security and have version control. Security is the foundation. Once we had that, we could focus on achieving a more collaborative workplace.”

According to Director Pil-Moon Jeong, the biggest difference between Google Workspace and the previous tools used by Korean Air is the productivity that has been achieved. This has been a key element in allowing the company to establish a different workplace culture. Director Pil-Moon Jeong says that while Korean Air has always been collaborative, Google Workspace has helped to make the process more systematic. He doesn’t see Google Workspace as a tool to create flashy documents, but something that can help focus the user’s attention on collaborating in a cloud-based environment. When Korean Air was looking at different options, it was more interested in achieving collaboration and communication rather than extensive features.

“Before, we had to spend time making documents look nice through good design,” shares Director Pil-Moon Jeong. “With Google Workspace, we can just focus on communication and collaboration instead. On top of that, we appreciate the vision of Google Workspace to make Docs accessible for all, including people with disabilities.”

Another positive impact on Korean Air’s workplace culture has come from the comment feature in Google Workspace, which allows employees to easily express their diverse opinions. It used to be rare for employees to view documents together, and cultural norms made it difficult to feel comfortable editing a document created by someone else. With Google Workspace, comments allow employees and executives alike to share their thoughts with one another, in a more pleasant and open way.

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*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.