I was talking to my collegue Rune regarding gadgets at work as an office perk as well as improving efficiency.
He was saying that IT staff (by which we mostly meant us and similar developers) love gadgets. And he would love to receive a new phone and/or pc every 6 months and thinks it actually would be benificiary to the company.
You may think that is an extraordinary unneccessary expense in hardware and install/configuration time but I think it may actually be cost effective or at least cost neutralised.
It would make staff happier and thus less likely to leave. Thus saving on reqruitement and training.
Perks are often used as a way to keep salaries down. It may reduce your salary expense which is the bulk of all company and projects costs, while still entice people to stay.
By leveraging more virtual machines the configuration costs would be reduced.
Basically we (maybe not everyone, but a large majority I think) love to tinker with new gadgets.
I know some people in my own team have left to work for companies that have an individual "gadget budget", not their only reason for leaving but a nice sweetner.
I think the cost of gadgets per year e.g £2,000 compared to salaries of £50,000 may be good retention reasons and probably can be off set against company tax etc.
Apart from job satisfaction and enjoyment, some people may be well organised or cynical to only consider salary as their only job incentive. With which they say they can join the gym they want if needed, pay for the cabin/flat/hotel for the holidays when needed, choose their own home pc etc. However I think most then just travel less, train less and have old gadgets etc and have a lesser life for it.
I love the perks I currently get with e.g. company cabins. I went 5 times this winter to skiing cabins. If I had to pay for them I may have gone only once, if that. When we had a large sports hall in our office building up until last year I played football, floorball and basketball there every week. Now since we moved office where we no longer have access to such facility I have not played floorball and basketball since, and rarely play footie as well.
Basically I am a sucker for perks, and I think most IT people would be alured by gadget perks.
Note: I have previously blogged about Why waste money with inferior equipment as so much time and therefore money is wasted due to inferiour hardware or outdated tools. Investing in new hardware and tools continously would keep those costs down, with some additional configuration cost, but savings in staff costs and the exponential maintenance cost of legacy tools and systems.