Wellbeing and mental health in fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers and their family members

Project Plan

Working in FIFO (or DIDO) roles can pose particular demands on workers and their families and has its own benefits as well.  Some research shows that FIFO work has an effect on wellbeing, mental health, and relationships. However it is not well understood how specific workplace factors affect wellbeing and mental health in FIFO workers.


Without insights into the workplace aspects that shape the FIFO experience, targeted strategies and initiatives focussed on protecting and enhancing the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers and their families cannot be provided.

To address these issues, a new UWA study investigates a range of FIFO work factors that contribute to mental health in workers and how these factors might affect their next of kin. A key aim is to identify positive and negative workplace experiences as well as strategies used by individuals, families and organisations to buffer against potential FIFO challenges. In doing so, the project aims to identify the relative importance of each factor, including those related to FIFO work, the facilities in and around the site, as well as the FIFO workers themselves.

Your Support

Fifo7-webA study on FIFO workers needs FIFO workers! Each participant in our study has the opportunity to contribute their own personal experiences and views to the bigger picture that we are aiming to achieve.

We want to learn from as many experiences of FIFO workers as we can. A contribution of your time and insights will help us generate an accurate picture of FIFO mental health and wellbeing, as well as of the work and workplace experiences of FIFO workers.

What do people need to do to take part?

Participation in the study involves completing a survey. The survey contains questions about mental health and wellbeing, work and the workplace, as well as family and social life. Completing it takes around 30 minutes. As part of the survey, FIFO workers are invited to nominate their partners to also complete a survey that captures their FIFO experiences. Partners will receive a survey link once they have been nominated by a FIFO worker who has completed the survey. This process allows the researchers to understand how FIFO workers’ and their partners’ experiences are connected.

What will the researchers do with the information?


The data you provide will be used for research purposes and the findings will be reported back to the Mental Health Commission, which has commissioned this work. The insights generated by the research can inform workers, companies and governments on the issues associated with mental health in FIFO workers and how to best tackle these. All information provided will be anonymous, so that your responses cannot be traced back to you.

The responses from partners and FIFO workers are automatically linked vis a computer generated electronic identifier and your personal details will not be directly linked with your responses.

How will this study impact the community?

This study aims to capture the views of at least 1500 FIFO workers. In doing so, it will provide a conclusive overview of mental health, wellbeing and work factors experienced by FIFOs. The research will be ideally placed to form the basis of guidance and support for workers and families. It will also provide evidence that companies can use to design workplaces in ways that are positive for mental health and wellbeing. The research can also help inform government policies on FIFO work.

What are the benefits to those taking part?

Fifo2-webBesides contributing to research that looks into the work that you do, individuals who take part in the study will receive a personalised feedback report with reflections on their results.

They can also add their personal details (i.e. email address) to enter a raffle to win one of five $150 dinner vouchers.

Contact the research team via:


Project Members

Professor Sharon parker
Research Lead

Director, Centre for Transformative Work Design, UWA.

Ms Cindy Burton
Project Member

Research Assistant, UWA Business School.

Dr Laura Fruhen
Project Manager

Research Fellow, UWA Business School.


Overview of the FIFO Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey