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The Fly In Fly Out Lifestyle
A guide for workers and families

Adele Wilde

Counsellor and Psychotherapist
Perth, Western Australia

Since the end of the 1980's, Australia has experienced a resources boom that has seen thousands of families impacted by fly in fly out (FIFO) work. The FIFO lifestyle involves workers flying to non-residential based gas, oil and mining operations to work ten to fourteen hour shifts for two to six weeks at a time. Whilst the financial gains from this type of work are substantial, the undesirable impact this type of work is having on individuals, couples, and family units is becoming hard to ignore.

The FIFO lifestyle often sees workers flying out to stay in remote locations with hundreds of other men and women in basic, but fully serviced accommodation, working long hours with the opportunity to wind down after a long shift at the "wet mess" with other co-workers. This lifestyle is often far removed from the life they lead at home with partners and children.

Ways FIFO Work Impacts Families

Ways You Can Stay Connected in Couple Relationships

Prior to starting FIFO work couples need to be realistic about the impact this type of work is going to have on the family. For this lifestyle to be managed successfully it is beneficial for couples to discuss how they will approach things such as social life, parenting, contact with each other (and children) during the period away. It is also important to discuss the expectations that the whole family has about how life is going to be when the partner who works away returns home. For example who will transport children to and from school? How much time will be allocated to friends and extended family? Will there be nights for just the two of you to go to dinner or have time out together? If these expectations are discussed in a logical and practical way, it could reduce the level of stress and disappointment. It is also important that these discussions continue to ensure the arrangements are still working for the both of you.

Tips for the partner who is working away

If you have children

Ways FIFO Work Impacts Individuals

Ways for Individuals to Stay Connected and Make the most of FIFO

If you are experiencing coping difficulties, or your relationships are starting to suffer as a result of fly in fly out work, please contact Adele to further discuss your concerns.

Phone: 0439 324 703

Mt Lawley Counselling Centre
13 Alvan Street
Mt Lawley (Perth), WA 6050

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