Asana Anatomy of Work Index Reveals: Employees Spend Nearly Two-Thirds of Their Day on Work About Work

Constant emails, message notifications, unexpected meetings consume 60% of a worker’s day

(Graphic: Business Wire)

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Asana, a leading work management platform for teams, today released its Anatomy of Work Index, delivering an in-depth analysis on how time is spent in the modern office. Globally, survey respondents reflected spending 60 percent of their day on coordination, such as communicating about project status, searching for information, and managing shifting priorities, rather than on the skilled job they’ve been hired to do.

The Anatomy of Work Index was conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of Asana to better understand how employees are spending their time, the factors shaping their habits, and how organizations can more effectively manage individual and team processes. Asana and Sapio Research co-designed the questionnaire and surveyed the behaviors and attitudes of 10,223 knowledge workers across Australia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.

Anatomy of Work Index Key Findings

  • The majority of respondents’ time (60%) is spent on work coordination, leaving only 13 percent for strategic planning and 27 percent for the skill-based job they were hired to do.
  • Responding to a constant barrage of emails and notifications is the primary reason that nearly one-third of employees regularly log overtime hours, followed by unexpected meetings and chasing people for input or approval.
  • Respondents surveyed believe that nearly two-thirds of meetings are unnecessary.
  • Over 10 percent of an employee’s day - 4 hours and 38 minutes per week - is spent on tasks that have already been completed. This amounts to more than 200 hours of duplicated effort and wasted efficiency annually.
  • Less than half (46%) of respondents surveyed clearly understand how their output contributes to the achievement of their organization’s objectives and mission.

Despite having more ways to communicate and collaborate than ever before, the majority of teams are still turning to antiquated tools like email and spreadsheets that were never designed to synchronize work,” said Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana. “As a result, they’re spending more time managing the chaos of coordination rather than on the actual job they’ve been hired to do. We believe this represents a tremendous opportunity for teams to streamline their processes and better orchestrate their work — ultimately giving them valuable time back in their day to focus on what matters most.”

Additional findings highlight the geographical differences in the modern workplace:

  • Unexpected meetings is the primary reason respondents in Australia stay late.
  • German employees spend the most time duplicating efforts — over 270 hours a year.
  • Only 19 percent of Japanese respondents are clear on how their output adds value and helps their company achieve its objectives — significantly lower than the global average (46%).
  • 68 percent of U.K. employees are asked to do something that doesn’t feel valuable to their business objectives every week — more than any other country surveyed.
  • Over one-third (31%) of respondents in the U.S. cite having too much work to do as their primary source of stress — higher than any other country surveyed.

Reimagining the Way We Work

Across all employees surveyed, an overwhelming 83 percent believe their team isn’t as effective as they could be due to not having the right processes in place to manage and streamline their collective efforts. However, among respondents who believe their organization is set up for efficiency, they’re more than three times as likely to feel inspired to meet their goals and be proud of their output. In addition, 64 percent of organizations who use work management software say their company is set up for tasks to be completed efficiently versus 27 percent of firms that don’t have a system to manage how assignments are distributed and managed.

Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index and more information about the findings are available for download:

Report Methodology

The Anatomy of Work Index was conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of Asana, to understand how people spend time at work. Asana and Sapio Research co-designed the questionnaire and surveyed the behaviors and attitudes of 10,223 knowledge workers across the UK; US; Japan; Australia/New Zealand; and Germany.

About Asana

Asana helps teams orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Asana has more than 70,000 paying organizations and millions of free organizations across 195 countries. Global customers such as AirAsia, AllBirds, Grab, KLM Air France, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Sephora, Traveloka, Uber, and Viessmann rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives to digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns.


Asana Communications
Erin Cheng


Asana Communications
Erin Cheng