A look at work management company Asana (plus advice for getting hired)

Asana is a leading player in workplace management platforms, helping teams organize and manage all of their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. The company is dedicated to helping teams get their work done faster and better. So how does the team behind this mission operate? Ladders spoke with the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Asana to find out.

Asana rundown

Size: 700 employees

Industry: The company’s headquarters is in San Francisco, California, and it also has locations in New York, Dublin, Vancouver, Tokyo, Sydney and Munich, London, and Reykjavik.

Locations: Computer Software

Founded: 2008

Founders: Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein

CEO: Dustin Moskovitz

asana ceo dustin moskovitz
CEO Dustin Moskovitz; Photo courtesy Asana

Mission: “Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly,” said Sonja Gittens Ottley, the Asana Head of Diversity and Inclusion. “Our mission drives us everyday as we build technology that is a force for positive change in the world.”

How much do Asana employees make?

The average salary for an Asana employee is $124,656 per year. Ladders estimates are based on our calculations.

Asana Jobs

The headquarters in San Francisco is looking for a Solutions Engineer, a Communications Manager, and a Head of Organic Growth to join the team. The New York team is searching for an Engineering Manager to join the Product team. View Ladders’ Asana Jobs page for a full list of open roles and information on how to apply.

Asana Company Culture

“At Asana, it’s mission-critical that the company’s culture enables its employees to do their most impactful work as effortlessly as possible,” Gittens Ottley said. “This supports the business, enables the company to achieve its mission, and ultimately enhances employee satisfaction and growth.”

Trust is paramount to the company’s culture. It’s important that employees, regardless of title, team, or tenure, feel welcome and encouraged to share ideas and thoughts.

“By instilling a high responsibility within every employee, Asana can move faster as a global team,” Gittens Ottley said.

The company does this by distributing responsibility across the team, making sure that every employee has one or more Areas of Responsibility (AoR). AoRs provide a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional growth, as well as exposure to other parts of the business. According to the Great Place to Work survey, 98% of employees at Asana believe that they are given a lot of responsibility.

“As a company focused on ensuring that teams around the world are able to work together with less effort, employees are the company’s own best customers of the product its building,” Gittens Ottley said. “By using their own product internally, they reap the benefits of drastically diminishing constant distraction and unnecessary meetings and status updates – what Asana calls ‘work about work’.”

By the nature of the company’s work, Asana recognizes the human aspect of work, focusing on building a people-centric culture. One of the company’s core values is ‘heartitude,’ which embraces what makes employees human and encourages everyone to take time to play, have fun, and create meaningful experiences for their own sake.

Gittens Ottley describes office life at Asana as both fast-paced and mindful, challenging and fun, transparent and trusting.

“The company is vigilant about creating an environment where everyone feels confident bringing their whole selves to work, making their voices heard, and that they belong,” Gittens Ottley said. “An open floorplan, variety of communal areas, and spacious dining areas represent the company’s inclusive culture and encourages collaboration.”

Asana strives to uphold a culture where all employees feel connected to each other and to the company’s mission, offering an environment where everyone is empowered to choose their own path and entrusted with big responsibilities and decisions that directly shape how the company grows.

Asana believes culture connects the lines between three crucial parts of an organization – business goals, values, and people. Asana rejects the notion that strong business results and a thriving culture are mutually exclusive. The company works to find creative solutions that include the best of both options to create a new, more powerful one. They fundamentally believe that the investments companies make in their culture are precisely what fuel business success.

Asana has been named one of Fortune’s Top 10 Best Workplaces three years in a row, as well as the #1 Best Workplace in the Bay Area, one of the Best Workplaces for Women, a certified Great Place to Work in Ireland, and three years in a row as one of Inc.’s Best Workplaces.

Diversity at Asana

Something that sets Asana apart is its focus on diversity. The company believes diversity impacts business and inclusion impacts company culture, and together they lead to business success. Asana aims to cultivate leadership that displays vulnerability, curiosity, and openness, while still valuing and respecting all employees, according to Gittens Ottley.

“They know that bringing different perspectives to the table translates to higher quality decisions within the company,” Gittens Ottley said. “The company feels all employees must feel safe to be themselves, take chances, fail and ultimately succeed on both an individual and team level.”

Asana places a high value on creating a space where all employees feel welcome and encouraged to participate, collaborate and share ideas.

The company has a number of employee resource groups, including Gradient, AsanaWomen, and Team Rainbow. Asana also uses fair hiring practices and has partnerships with Kapor Capital, Project Include, Change Catalyst / Tech Inclusion, /dev/color and Paradigm. Asana has also been named a Fortune Best Workplace for Women along with Best CEOs for Diversity.

“Together we’re building a better way to work, and showing the world that it’s possible to create both a product and a culture that supports transparency, trust, and inclusion,” Gittens Ottley said.

Interview advice from the Asana Head of Diversity and Inclusion

“People who will be successful at Asana are highly collaborative, passionate about their craft, are open and curious, and driven by our mission,” Gittens Ottley said. “The interview process ensures that these qualities are considered, as well as skill and aptitude to indicate that they can serve the business need in their role.”

Candidates can expect multiple interviews at Asana, with each interviewer focusing on a particular area that is specific to them about what they want to hear from the candidate. In addition to the Recruiting team, all managers, team leads and individual contributors who have been recommended by their managers, complete an interview training and can be a part of the evaluation process.

After an interview, the hiring team gathers to discuss their experience and assessment, and make a final decision about whether to move forward with the candidate.

Employee benefits and perks:

  • 100% insurance premium coverage
  • 16 weeks paid parental leave and supportive transition upon return
  • Free executive or life coaching
  • The in-house culinary program provides nutritious and delicious meals, snacks, and coffee beverages daily
  • Paid time off
  • Monthly fitness stipend
  • Monthly ride-sharing credits
  • Pre-tax commuter benefits
  • Customized workstation with ergonomic chair and sit/stand desk

Employee reviews 2019

Reviews on Glassdoor range from three-star reviews titled “good experience as first job but poor compensation outlook” to five-star reviews stating that Asana is an “amazing place to build your career.”

“There’s a lot of hard and interesting work to do, largely driven by our growth and the fact that the problem still isn’t solved,” one reviewer wrote. “Company leadership is competent and open, and this trickles down to the company having a high degree of trust throughout. This means that my day to day work at Asana feels very collaborative, whether I’m working with people directly on my team or elsewhere in the company; and even in the strongest disagreements I have with colleagues, it’s quite clear that everyone is trying to do what’s best for Asana and our customers, and we’re just disagreeing about the best way to do this. On top of all this, I really enjoy working at a company whose business model is to build a great product and sell it, rather than being (e.g.) advertising based.”

Overall, the company has great ratings on Glassdoor, with 94% of reviewers agreeing they would recommend the company to a friend and 97% of reviewers agreeing that they approve of the CEO.

Asana funding

Asana has raised a total of $213.2 million in funding over 7 rounds, with the latest round, a Series E, raising $50 million. Announced Nov. 29, 2018, the round was led by Generation Investment Management. Other investors include 8VC, Benchmark Capital, Founders Fund, Lead Edge Capital and World Innovation Lab.