Physiological needs

These are the physical and the most basic of human needs. Food, water, and shelter were the basic needs of the cave man. Good food, a good and comfortable workplace, non-hazardous work, and a pollution-free environment are the basic needs of the knowledge worker. Maslow contended that humans would want to fulfill these first and there was little reason to doubt him. It's nearly impossible to do anything right if your body and mind are not in good shape.

A knowledge worker's basic food, clothing, and shelter needs are easily taken care of, and most don't really worry about them. However, in today's world, new basic needs have emerged: good sleep and low stress.

People are motivated to avoid stress and will work to avoid it, even change jobs. A case in point; Bangalore city traffic is one of the worst. Distance of the workplace from one's home is a key criterion for some people. Over the years, I have seen people changing jobs to avoid a long commute. Being in Bangalore traffic and wasting a precious 2-3 hours a day is a huge de-motivator for some people.

Good sleep is another basic need, which has become an issue in some of the industries like call centers or 24/7 support centers. Odd work hours create a difficult lifestyle, and despite a fair compensation and good comfortable surroundings, these businesses see a lot of attrition.

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