By Kyle Christopher 

A friend sent me an article from the New York Times this morning called “Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?” It caught my attention. As fate would have it, one of Reliant’s core values is “Have Fun and Get It Done.”

As someone who has worked in every environment from retail to Human Resources, I’ve seen every sort of fun and non-fun work environment that exists; literally all of them. The trend with a lot of companies nowadays is simply to make work fun. The Times article talks about companies bestowing their team members with titles such as “Chief Fun Officer” or “Vice President of Wow”. I wondered how any these titles would look on a business card.

The point was the following: Nobody goes to work for the express purpose of fun. In fact, doing so can actually squash moral according to the article.

At Reliant we take a different approach. Fun is the by-product of hard work and great relationships. Here’s how we do it.

1. Customer-Centric

Everything we do at Reliant has to focus on our customers. If you’re having fun and your customers’ needs aren’t getting met, then we’ve got a situation.

Ace Ventura probably had fun delivering this package, but his customer probably did not like it, as evidenced by the scrunched-up mustache.

We’ve developed so many solid relationships with our customers that the fun takes care of itself. Our concept of fun is getting the job done and having a satisfied customer. 

2. Results-Focused

Reliant is a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE). So, por ejemplo, if your boss is tracking you with a GPS, he or she is probably not as focused on results. (We’ve found radar to be much more accurate). 

The point is, you can have 100% attendance and not have results. On the flip side, you may not have a 100% attendance record but you may be meeting your customers’ needs and bringing results to your company. That, my friends, is the ultimate goal.

3. Collaboration

You know that guy that shuts himself in his office for 8 hours a day updating his Facebook status? Guesses are that he’s not very happy that way, and perhaps a little claustrophobic.

Let’s open up the spaces people. Get out and talk to people. Take breaks.

A lot of times at Reliant, you might find us working out on the back patio or having an off-site planning meeting at the lake. Or maybe, just maybe, we’ll be playing volleyball out back.

Research shows that employees who take regular breaks are much more productive.

Conclusion: Fun is the by-product of hard work, being other-focused, results-oriented and collaborative. We hope these values come through in everything we do. In the end, that’s what fun is all about.