March 28, 2023
For many workers in the Australian mining industry, Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO) or Drive-In-Drive-Out (DIDO) work arrangements are common. This type of work can be challenging, especially when maintaining strong relationships with your partner and children. If you’re a FIFO/DIDO worker, here are 11 practical tips to help you and your family.
1. Align on goals: Ensure you, your partner, and your children understand the reasons behind the FIFO/DIDO lifestyle and share the same objectives.
2. Communicate creatively: Use phone calls, texts, video calls, handwritten letters, or even recorded bedtime stories to stay connected with your family while away.
3. Schedule convenient communication: Agree on regular times for calls that suit everyone, but also send spontaneous thoughtful messages.
4. Share everyday moments: Discuss big and small events in each other’s lives to maintain a strong bond.
5. Keep tougher conversations for face-to-face interactions: Limit phone conversations to lighter topics and save more difficult discussions for when you’re together.
6. Stay updated on family activities: Keep a calendar or diary with essential dates and events related to your partner and children for conversation topics.
7. Agree on discipline strategies: Consistent parenting rules will prevent confusion and stress in the household.
8. Establish a return home routine: Discuss and plan how your time will be spent when you return to minimise surprises or resentments.
9. Plan quality family activities: Consider existing commitments and try to spend individual time with each child.
10. Prioritise couple time: Schedule date nights and find ways to give each other space and downtime to maintain a healthy relationship.
11. Utilise support resources: Contact Employment Assistance Programs (EAP) or organisations like MATES in Mining for additional advice and support.
Remember, with the right approach and planning, the FIFO/DIDO lifestyle can be a rewarding experience for the entire family.
The content in this article was based on information provided by MATES in Mining. For additional support managing FIFO/DIDO lifestyle impact, contact MATES in Mining’s 24/7 Helpline at 1300 642 111 for you and your family.