TALK | Ex-Yahoo Germany boss Steffen Hopf in an interview: “Marissa Mayer was right!”

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Steffen Hopf

Steffen Hopf is Managing Director of Yahoo Germany. In an interview he talks about his personal work habits and how Marissa Mayer's home office verdict affects productivity in the home Company affected.

Steffen Hopf is the Managing Director of Yahoo in Germany. In the position of the Country Commercial Director, the 40 year-old is also responsible for all marketing activities and the strategic direction of the sales department of Yahoo Deutschland. Previously he was, among other things, Managing Director of MySpace / Specific Media, worked in Yahoo's sales department and worked for Wallstreet: online AG as well as and GMX.

Simone Janson is a publisher and board member of the Berufebilder Yourweb Foundation.

Mr. Hopf, how does your working day begin?

I always try to start my day with a positive attitude. To prepare myself mentally for the day, I still check at home on the smartphone eMails, the calendar and the weather.

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Then I still give myself a few minutes for the latest Tumblr entries, which entertain me and often make for a smile. In the office, the colleagues already present are welcomed - I am more of the early birds - before I start with a coffee right into the new working day.

So even for the boss no home office. What does your work look like?

It is important for me to put tasks into their context and explain why they are so important. Teamprojekten has a common and concrete objective. It is only when everyone pulls together that the best possible result is achieved. I have full confidence in my employees and give them the necessary freedom to carry out their work independently and independently and, above all, to contribute their ideas and suggestions.

My task is to reinforce my team and to provide assistance only when necessary. There must always be time for motivation. I am a great advocate of open, transparent communication, the nuts and bolts of a trusting cooperation.

In addition, my office is almost paperless and most of my activities can be done wonderful online - whether eMails, video, teleconferencing or real-time correspondence via Yahoo Messenger, most of all direct, effective and efficient. Nevertheless, a personal conversation is indispensable, especially for more complex topics with multiple participants or when conflicts and misunderstandings have to be removed from the world.

What was the impact of the abolished Homeoffice on productivity and collaboration at Yahoo?

The consequences of abolishing complete telework are positively positive. Especially the teamwork benefits from this: decisions can be made faster, the quality of the work is increased.

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Are you pleading for a reintroduction of the clock?

I can only say: “Don't reward and measure effort, but outcome” - productivity and success should not be measured by effort, but always by concrete results.

How do you improve your own productivity?

Productivity is by no means tied to the desktop, on the contrary - that's why I use my smartphone and tablet a lot. To increase productivity, sharing and feedback are essential. These include best practice cases as well as learnings.

It is no less important to keep track and to document processes and processes effectively; Tools like Salesforce help here. In order to clarify urgent questions, but also to motivate myself and colleagues, a direct, personal exchange often helps more than an endless one eMail-Thread.

That sounds in spite of home-office ban after allways on. What do you do when your productivity decreases?

When I notice that my productivity is diminishing, I just make a short break. For this I leave my desk and think of something completely different. Often then a short moment is enough to switch off and refuel the power reserves.

Where do you work best?

I have designed my workplace so that I can be very productive here: tidy, without any distraction. In addition, I can work very productively and concentrated at the airport. While others may find the atmosphere a distraction, the hustle and bustle increases my productivity.

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And how many hours do you sleep per night?

On average, I sleep six to seven hours a night.

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