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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – Post Covid

Well, it’s been over a year since we went into our first major lockdown brought on by Covid and I’m wondering what we’ve learnt from those dark times.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a charted set of human requirements that are important for an individual to achieve complete development and self-actualization, identifies five categories of human needs that dictate an individual’s behaviour and motivation, namely


  1. Physiological needs
  2. Safety needs
  3. Love and belonging needs
  4. Esteem needs
  5. Self-actualisation needs


When we first went into Level 3 and Level 4 lockdown we focussed on having our physiological and safety needs met – at a basic level stock piling food, toilet paper, paracetamol and wine mainly, followed by ensuring we had the means to work from home if our jobs allowed it. This entailed having a functioning computer, connectivity to the outside world (I wish I had bought shares in Zoom) and a mandate of work to do.

Our next priority was avoiding the risk of being infected with Covid, and looking back, I think there was a degree of hysteria attached to this, mainly driven by a lack of knowledge and information about Covid and what it was capable of. Another safety priority was job security – would we keep our jobs and if we did, would we get paid at the same level? For many people this was the hardest uncertainty of all.

Our love and belonging needs were largely taken care of by the daily phone calls or facetime chats made to, and received from, our family and friends. If that didn’t happen, there were always the friendly chats over the fence with neighbours, or those we passed on the streets (at a safe two metres of course) in our daily walks.

Our esteem needs were largely met by the bake-offs, hand crafts, hobbies and other activities we used to stave off boredom and which gave us a sense of achievement, and which we shared with anyone and everyone on social media.

The fifth, and probably most important need, is the need of Self Actualisation – personal growth. This was probably the hardest need of all when you’re living in lockdown, and this was evidenced by the increase in domestic violence and mental health issues that occurred during and after lockdown. For most of us though, the lack of motivation was probably the winner on the day, judging from the use of Netflix and other mind-numbing activities we lost ourselves in, to while away the days and weeks.

The best thing though, was being released from lockdown, and didn’t we all become hugely thankful for the freedoms we’d taken for granted for so long, quickly followed by the appreciation of living in a small country, far from anywhere, with good leadership and lots of resources (food and wine).

I wonder how quickly we’ll forget the last year and the lessons learned. Most of us have taken steps to ensure if we ever go back to Level 3 or Level 4 we’ll be much better prepared than we were the first time. Well, in our private lives at least. But what about our businesses or work places?

Have we done enough to tidy up our systems and processes to make working from home easier than last time? How’s the home office looking these days, or the spare bedroom, kitchen table or whatever you use to work on from home? Would it pass a health and safety inspection? Will you be judged on the background wall paper and surroundings that will inevitably appear in your Zoom meetings?

Are our shopfronts to the world (our websites) displaying the right products and services in the right format to the right audience? Did we actually finish all those projects we’d diversified into when it looked like lockdown might be here to stay? And if we did finish creating something out of those good ideas, what has happened to them since then? Are they gathering dust or actually bringing in some extra sales for us?

Each time we go into lockdown we are reminded how fragile our freedom is and how important it is to be prepared for all eventualities. Of course, the other side of going into lockdown now that we know what to expect, is complacency and a feeling of ground hog day or déjà vu, but underneath it all is a gentle reminder to take nothing for granted. Nothing.

Over the last year the team at Expert has been busy helping a large number of our clients to get their websites in order or their new products ready to be launched, and we’re impressed with how much diversity, innovation and adaption they’ve demonstrated, not to mention great forward planning. If there’s anything Expert can do to help your organisation or business be more ‘out there’ should another lockdown happen, please just let me know

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