How Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Translates To The Workplace

The idea for this article about How Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Translates To The Workplace was presented by our very own Dave Stobbe in our weekly discussions. Afterwards, we felt that it would be a shame to not share it with more people, hence this article.

Maslow's Hierarchy

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has always been a very useful tool. It is always used to determine whether a person is still able to meet their priorities daily.

The hierarchy of needs also applies to the workplace. Employees also have needs. If those needs aren’t met, then the workplace must not value its workers enough to see to it. 

The Hierarchy of Needs

Physiological Needs

There are 5 levels to the hierarchy of needs, at the bottom of which is the physiological needs. This includes air, water, sleep, food, shelter, and reproduction. 

If one’s work environment is stressful and toxic, an employee might not be able to rest and recuperate. If they give out less than minimum wages, a worker might not be able to pay for basic food and shelter.

To be able to meet the physiological needs of an employee, a company should make sure that employees only work the required 8-9 hours. They should be able to attend personal things outside of work, and not receive work calls outside of work hours. Additionally, an employer should be able to pay a salary that is above the minimum wage, especially for those who render physical services.

Safety Needs

The next level above physiological needs are the safety needs. This includes personal security, employment, health, property, and resources. A company should be able to provide all, if not some, of these needs.

Personal security and health are some of the benefits that a company must be able to provide while a person is still employed under them. As for properties and resources, an employee must be able to acquire them with the money they are making from working for the company.

Also, ensuring that an employee will always have employment, or at least be well-informed beforehand if there are looming issues that may affect their employment.

Love and Belonging

Next on the hierarchy of needs is love and belonging. This includes friendship, family, intimacy, and sense of connection. A company with a great work environment will be able to foster friendship and a sense of connection.

If leaders have an open-door policy where their employees are able to speak with them freely, then employees will have that sense of connection. They will feel as if their leaders, managers, and colleagues respect one another, which meets that specific level on the hierarchy of needs.


Second to the highest is esteem. This includes respect, self-esteem, freedom, strength, status, and recognition. A great workplace will be able to develop their workers’ self-esteem, and in turn, be able to foster a great sense of respect among everybody. 

Status and recognition are just as important, since everyone deserves to be praised every once in a while. If someone does a good job, they deserve to be recognized. This gives them the freedom to make good decisions on their own, and it develops their strength career-wise.


At the top of the pyramid is self-actualization. It is the desire to be the best version of oneself, and it’s the most important. If all needs in the hierarchy are met, an employee will be able to self-actualize. They will strive to be the best that they can be, which is actually very beneficial to the company.

If a person continuously tries to do better, the company will have an employee that always does their best. That reflects in the work that they do, which will, more often than not, be perfect.

Meeting the Hierarchy of Needs on your own

It may seem hard to meet the hierarchy of needs if you’re flying solo, but there are a few ways to overcome these hardships.

Meeting Physiological Needs

For example, meeting your physiological needs is quite easy. As long as you are being compensated properly at work, you can attend to your basic needs of housing, food, and other necessities in life.

A counterpoint to this is getting enough rest. However, if you can manage your time well, and that your company doesn’t force you to overwork, you can meet those needs and be on your way to self-actualization.

Meeting Safety Needs

Your safety needs are also vital. If you still have to worry about your safety and those of your loved ones, then your needs are not being met. But, if you are able to provide a safe and comfortable lifestyle for yourself and your family, then you’re good. You should also be able to feel that your personal property and your resources are protected at work. Your company is responsible for that part, and by providing you with the support that you need.

You should also be aware that your job is secured for the foreseeable future. Your company should always be transparent on such things. If there are pending layoffs and budget cuts, your company should be able to give you a heads-up so you can take care of yourself.

Finding a Sense of Love and a Sense of Belonging

Developing a great working relationship with your colleagues, and being the catalyst of a non-toxic working environment will meet your needs for love and belonging. You will also be able to give that sense of belonging to your workmates, as they too, have needs of their own. However, your company shares some of the responsibility in cultivating a great workspace where everybody can thrive.

Boosting One’s Esteem

If your company doesn’t recognize your efforts and contributions, you should at least do so yourself. Rewarding yourself for a job well done, or closing out on a difficult project will motivate yourself and get you back on track. 

Of course, if your company helps you out by making you feel seen and recognizing that you’re doing a great job, then you’re most likely to succeed.

Reaching self-actualization can be done on your own, but of course, a little help will always be appreciated.

How hiring an Assistant will help you get back on track

Hiring an assistant can do wonders for you, especially if you’re trying to self-actualize. Another person in your life can actively assist you in meeting your needs.

A Distant Assistant is one of the most valuable people in a lot of industries today. With the pandemic still in full swing, companies are in no rush to get back to a physical workplace. Working from home may sound easy, but it can be harder for some people who need to focus on their work but get bogged down by administrative tasks. Conversely, there are also people that have their work and personal lives blurred together due to working at home, which can be an unhealthy habit.

How hiring an Assistant will help you get back on track

If you have a Distant Assistant, you can make use of your time well. Delegating some tasks to them can help you regain control of your time and schedule. If tasks are equally divided between the two of you, then the need for time for both of you are met.

Additionally, you can focus on the higher levels in the hierarchy, especially if you’re at the level for love and belonging. You will be able to build long-lasting relationships with friends, and cultivate familial bonds even more.

What’s good is that you will also be able to cultivate a great sense of belonging in the workplace, even while working remotely. Your distant assistant will also feel that their needs for love and belonging are met, because you will be able to share it with them. 

A distant assistant will also help relieve you of the burdens from lower levels, and vice versa. Since you are working together, you will be able to recognize the good work that both of you are doing, and that will help your working relationship with each other.


Always remember that you are capable of meeting your needs, whether alone or with the help of other people. If you can self-actualize alone, then that’s great. However, you have to keep in mind that if you are part of a company, there are people who are always willing to help, especially if you are helping them too. 

Getting through the levels of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs together will help you all self-actualize at the same time. You and your assistant won’t even notice that the process is hard, since you’ll be helping each other through most of it.

Of course, there are some things that you must do on your own, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t enlist the help of someone, like a colleague, or a distant assistant. These people exist for a reason, and you have to remember your purpose as well.

Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.


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