"When we started Trivago we were not so much looking at how can we scale this company within the next month or years," he explains. "We were rather saying we want to build something where we want to work for the next 20 years and we want to make a living."
Part of building a profitable company with a positive culture meant hiring people who were self-motivated. "We wanted to have intrinsic motivation," he says. "We don't want to tell people what to do. We really want that people make responsible, independent decisions."
Giving employees the freedom to set their own schedules allows them to work more efficiently, says Schrömgens. This, in turn, makes the company more productive and efficient and keeps overhead low. He believes the concept that people who work 50 percent more will produce 50 percent more work is outdated.
"This idea that time and output is closely related — I think that comes from a time when people were still working in the field," he says. "Why do we still put people into an office and lock them down for eight hours or more? Why do we still do that?"
That mentality, he argues, doesn't serve knowledge workers or promote creativity, which he sees as essential to the vast majority of roles.
"Ninety percent of people here, and probably even more, have a creative job," he says. "Engineering is a super creative job."