There have been many resources and theories that are put forth to those employees who go to an office on a daily basis on how they deal with the rigors of the daily grind. Theories abound on what makes individuals happy and how they can apply that to their office work and business.
But what about those employees who work from home or are self-employed? Managerial theory, those ideas on what make a person enjoy a job or dislike a certain aspect of their employment, have always been geared at the nine-to-five employee, but these theories can also be applied from the home office worker.
Managerial Theory for the Home Office
What exactly is a managerial theory? Managerial theories are ideas that are set forth from someone who studies the effects of something on an individual. The theories usually come from psychologists who observe how managers and supervisors treat or handle their employees, while also observing the way employees react and interact with the work environment around them.
Around the 1940s and 1960s, two of the most influential management theologians entered the scene, publishing their theories on the motivations of humans when it came to their personal and professional environment. These men were Abraham Maslow and Fredrick Herzberg, and both came to their own conclusions on what motivates a person, especially when dealing with the work force.
Maslow’s Theory of Motivation deals with the general motivation that guides a person, which in turn helps to understand his
motivation within the workplace. This theory has five different steps that an individual follows and completes; when one step has been met, the individual moves on to the next. Ideally he is motivated to reach the next level in this step ladder.
Like Maslow, the Herzberg’s Motivational Theory - also known as the two factor theory - deals with what motivates an employee to either work harder or less than those around him. Herzberg stated that were two factors for an individual’s progress - hygiene and motivators. The hygiene indicators were how an employee felt about his pay, the company’s rules and regulations, co-worker balance, etc, while his motivators looked at duties, responsibilities, advancement, and recognitition.
With a little understanding on what the managerial theories are, there is still the lingering question of do these actually apply to those who work in the home office? The answer is a resounding yes! Why? Despite the ability to be at home and even work in your pajamas at times, working from home is still work, the only difference being that you may decide when you work, for how long, and even where. While there may be some difference, these theories still apply.
For instance, take the first step of the Maslow Theory, which is the basic survival needs for items such as food and water. For a home office work, this need is the same as what a leader would teach his staff in an office. If these needs are met, then a home worker is thus motivated to go to the next step, which is that of safety both in work and at home, and to ensure that safety.
Let’s take a look at Herzberg’s theory - the hygiene factors of the theory are the same as Maslow’s–that of a worker being safe and meeting the basic needs. The middle ground in Herzberg’s pyramid is that of belonging, which is the social level on Maslow’s theory. This may be a bit tougher for a home worker; however, spending time with family is a main reason for people to become self-employed.
The key to both of these theories is what motivates a worker to do better. Even a home worker can become motivated when a project does well or become stressed when it doesn’t. Home office workers are still affected by these motivations, even more so as they may have a lot more stress or less social interaction than their counterparts. Looking at these steps may help the motivation process.
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