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The Asana year in review: A journey through research, insights, and the future of work

Headshot of Professor Mark Hoffman, who leads Collaborative Intelligence research at The Work Innovation Lab.Mark Hoffman
December 21st, 2023
3 min read
Header image for a blog post on Asana's year in review. Featuring an illustration of a building and the words "Asana Year in Review 2023"
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As we turn the final pages of this year at Asana, we're celebrating the goals and milestones our customers achieved. To dig into these accomplishments—and explore what made them possible—the Work Innovation Lab dove deep into the nuts and bolts of how work really happened in 2023. 

What we've uncovered is more than just data; it's a reflection of how our customers—the very heartbeat of Asana—worked, collaborated, set goals, and achieved them together this year. 

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Time-saving heroes

Reflecting on 2023, we faced a unique set of challenges. The economy kept us on our toes with new headwinds and AI gripped and galvanized the workplace, reshaping workflows. In these times, we've come to appreciate one thing more than ever: the value of time. It's more than a scarce resource; it's the cornerstone of productivity and innovation. 

In 2023, our customers saved more than 24 million hours by working smarter with Asana, fueling remarkable achievements. They: 

  • Moved company objectives forward by interacting with and updating goals 5 million times.

  • Helped drive these goals forward with efficiency by automating workflows with 13 billion total rules triggered.  

  • Ensured accountability and collaboration across regions and departments by creating 1.7 billion tasks and 40 million projects.

  • Drove mission-critical work forward by creating 1.7 billion tasks and 40 million projects.

  • Celebrated each others’ work through 118 million likes and 2 million celebrations.

  • Used Asana for high-impact use cases including onboarding and training, resource planning and management, and product launches. 

Girls in Tech leveraged Asana to launch and manage initiatives to close the gender gap in technology and entrepreneurship. The Trevor Project used Asana to orchestrate their vital work as the world's largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ young people. And Big Brothers Big Sisters of America turned to Asana to manage grant distribution to local agencies, expanding their youth mentorship programs that inspire confidence, ignite ambitions, and transform lives.

Tuesdays: The surprising champions of task completion 

Start of the week blues? Maybe not as much as you think. The beginning of the week—traditionally greeted with groans—emerged as a powerhouse of productivity in 2023. This was a time when our customers channeled their energy and focus to drive mission-critical work forward. We found that Tuesdays are when our customers really hit their strides in task completion, completing the most tasks of any day of the week. 

Days when the most tasks were completed:

  1. Tuesday 

  2. Monday

  3. Wednesday 

Peak productivity periods: From a pre-holiday surge to a back-to-work boost

We also uncovered a fascinating pattern in how productivity ebbs and flows throughout the year. Notably, our customers saw a significant surge in task completion from late October to mid-November, outpacing any other time on the calendar. 

Far from slowing down during the prelude to the U.S. Thanksgiving holidays, this span—following Halloween and leading up to Thanksgiving—saw a surge in task completions. This could be a collective effort to clear the decks before the holiday season. Similarly, the late August to late September period, when people typically return from summer vacations and dive back into work with renewed vigor, showed the second-highest task completion rate.

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Bridging cities, cultivating collaboration

Our customers relied on Asana to fuel global work. Of any two cities in the more than 200 countries with Asana users, collaboration was strongest between employees in Los Angeles and New York—representing a dynamic bi-coastal exchange of ideas and work. 

In Europe, users in Berlin and Hamburg—renowned for their unique blend of historical significance and modern innovation—saw the highest frequency of collaboration. Users in Berlin, with its vibrant tech ecosystem and and cultural diversity, connected with their counterparts in Hamburg, a city known for its strong media and commercial sectors.

In the Asia–Pacific region, Sydney and Melbourne emerged as a powerhouse of collaboration. Employees in these Australian cities—celebrated for their economic and cultural clout—used Asana to transcend the 500 miles separating them and supercharge distributed collaboration.

Cross-functional collaboration: A smarter way to work 

For our customers, 2023 was all about breaking down functional silos with Asana. The standout stars? Operations and Marketing. These two functional groups collaborated more than any others, blending operational execution with creative zest. This left-brain, right-brain mashup resulted in streamlined workflows and objectives achieved together. 

Hot on their heels was the collaboration between Marketing and Design teams. Cross-functional collaboration between these teams brought ideas to life, transforming concepts into visually compelling stories and collaborating on campaigns and creative requests. Their work didn't just catch the eye; it captured imaginations, transforming projects into engaging experiences.

Taking the third spot in cross-functional collaboration were Marketing and Product teams. These functions proved to be a formidable duo as the art of storytelling met the science of product development. This cross-team collaboration, from annual planning to product launches, ensured that products weren't just practical—they were also captivating. 

Cheers to 2023: A Year of big goals and bigger achievements

Our customers did big things in 2023, and we’re grateful to have supported their accomplishments. As we say goodbye to the year, we reflect on a period of productivity, collaboration, and inspiration. Here's to a new year of working smarter, pushing boundaries, and meeting even bigger more ambitious goals.

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