The Hierarchy of Needs for Home-Working

It’s been a good few years – 78 years to be exact – since Abraham Maslow published his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” and introduced us to the ‘Hierarchy of Needs.’

Chances are you’re already familiar with it, but it features five stages and is typically stylized like a pyramid. Moving from the bottom to the top, the stages theorized a human being’s motivation; psychological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. The theory was that the lower needs have to be satisfied before you can move up to attend to the needs of the next stage, and so on until you reach the final step.

But as we stated before, it’s been a while. So much about life, especially working life, has changed in the last 12 months. Is it time to introduce a new hierarchy of needs that is more suited to not only the 21st century but our current working situation and the state of modern recruitment?

Before we dive in, let’s quickly recap the five stages of human needs (according to Maslow):

  1. Physiological: This first stage is about our most basic needs like food, water, and sleep
  2. Safety: Are we safe? Are we healthy? This covers everything from shelter to financial stability.
  3. Love/belonging: Once we’re safe and fed, how do we feel like we belong in our own lives? This could be through relationships, friendships, and romantic intimacy.
  4. Esteem: Then we start to work on ourselves. Self-growth and building on our esteem happen through status, respect, and recognition.
  5. Self-actualization: This final stage relates to self-fulfillment, which – according to Maslow – says is unique to every person.

Introducing: The new hierarchy of needs for working from home

The global pandemic saw a complete overhaul of how we do our jobs and how businesses interact with their employees. We replaced face-to-face meetings with Zoom and desks with dining room tables. The working world has changed, and our needs have changed alongside it, with how we go about our jobs, the way we communicate, flexibility, and ways to improve productivity. One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is our desire to succeed in our careers.

Many businesses are now in full work-from-home mode while continuing to go about their day, conducting meetings, recruiting new staff, and pitching for new customers. With all that in mind, business security solutions provider Expert Security UK thinks it’s time for a new hierarchy of needs:

  • Working equipment: To do a job properly in the digital age, your equipment needs to be top-notch. That means no internet outages, no computer crashes, or faulty equipment. These are the basics.
  • Security: We all need, and all deserve, to feel safe regardless of where we do business. This means that our premises – wherever they may be – need to be protected efficiently with things like electric gates, driveway security bollards, CCTV, etc.
  • Safety and hygiene: If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we should never be complacent when it comes to hygiene, especially in an enclosed workspace. As we (hopefully) move out of this pandemic, businesses will need updated health and safety policies that reflect hygiene and social distancing best practices. If home is your work – whether it’s temporary or permanent – keep your hygiene standards high.
  • Team culture: Don’t forget about your people. Office banter and inside jokes are easy to keep alive when you’re all in one place, but with most people working from home, it’s more important now to keep that office culture alive and well. Use the internet and digital means to your advantage.
  • Career success: Just because we’re working from home doesn’t mean our ambitions have been put on hold. We all need to feel valued, and that includes our careers. Make sure your employees’ progressions are still on track so they have something to work for.

By Sam Levene at

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