Most people think of FIFO and think of single men and women working long hours and lots of travel, you may not automatically think it’s the right fit for someone with a family, but with over 60,000 people in WA employed in FIFO positions, there HAS to be a way to make it work.
With the huge trades skill shortage in Australia right now, mining companies are upping the ante and offering more family related perks, such as making sure workers have access to internet or phone reception so they can contact their families.
The appeal of FIFO work
Despite the spotty reputation that the FIFO industry has with maintaining work/life balance, many workers say they actually prefer equal time at work and home set up. Many stating that they would rather have 14 straight days with their families after working 14 days than working a more traditional 9-5 and only seeing their kids at dinner and then tucking them into bed. Some workers stated that they feel they get to bond with their spouses and spend more quality time when they get to see them for the full two weeks rather than just a few hours each night.
Not to mention, only working 26 weeks out of the year, and the average wage is quite appealing!
With the popularity of 2-on 2-off rosters, it’s hard to believe that it wasn’t always the norm. But it is becoming increasingly more common in the FIFO industry. It is also quite popular with the spouses of workers, some saying that the 2-on 2-off roster is ideal as they are home long enough to beat the exhaustion and actually be a part of the family, rather than working two weeks on and one week off, when you spend half of that time trying to rest up and beat the exhaustion.
It’s also a popular career choice as there are virtually no expenses. Everything from accommodation, meals and uniforms are covered, so you are essentially only earning the whole time you are on site.
Having said all of that, the FIFO lifestyle isn’t for everyone. The long hours can wreak havoc on the mental health of workers, and spending so much time apart from a spouse or parent can have negative mental health effects on the families of workers. If you are considering adopting the FIFO lifestyle, these are all things you should take into consideration.
If you’d like more information on this subject, check out this article by The West Australia.
There are positives and negatives of FIFO work, but if you can handle the time away from home, you should be able to strike a balance and maintain a rich social life when you are home.
If you’d like to become a FIFO worker, but lack the certifications to do so, browse our list of qualifications on offer via RPL. Get in touch today.