Bloomberg Businessweek

Boosting Profits by Billing Employees

At Tokyo-based Disco, everything has a price, including meeting rooms and desks
Naito

Hiroyuki Suzuki couldn’t be happier that his company is charging him and all other employees about $100 an hour to use meeting rooms. “People really cut back on useless meetings,” says Suzuki, 37, who works at chip-equipment maker Disco Corp. and is one of the company’s 5,000 employees taking part in a radical experiment in business management.

At Disco, everything has a price, from office desks and PCs to a spot for your wet umbrella. Teams bill each other for their work, while individuals operate as one-person startups, with daily auctions of work assignments and battles for the best ideas in the aptly named “Colosseum.” Payments are settled in a virtual currency called “Will,” with balances paid in yen at the end of each quarter. “We’ve created a free economic zone, just like what exists outside

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