The social impacts of the emergent phenomenon of fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) work is set to be put under the research microscope after the University of Queensland announced a research initiative into the practice.

The Working Parents Research Project, based out of the university’s Parenting and Family support Centre, is set to examine the impact of FIFO and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) on children and families in Queensland.

The research project’s Chief Investigator, Dr Cassy Dittman, said that the mining boom had produced significant changes to the work arrangements of many parents, and produced subsequent changes to lifestyles.

“The FIFO/DIDO work life is associated with potentially stressful lifestyle disruptions, including prolonged absences for workers from their partners and children, long work hours under often difficult work conditions, and large amounts of time spent commuting between work and home,” Dr Dittman said.

“Despite the increasing prevalence of these work practices, very little has been done to determine the family impact of this lifestyle or to provide tailored support to these families. “

Dr Dittman said information from the research project would be used to develop a parenting support program designed for FIFO/DIDO families. 

“It is hoped that providing effective family support might help to buffer any adverse effects of these work practices on families,” she said.