Australian mining industry workers have favoured the 14 days on, 14 days off FIFO (fly in, fly out) roster, according to a survey from Mining People Independent.
The survey asked 700 Australian mine workers what their preferred roster was, with 31 per cent of respondents choosing the 14/14 roster.
This was followed by the two weeks on, one week off schedule (21 per cent)
The question was previously asked in 2017, where workers preferred the eight days on, six days off schedule (30 per cent).
Thirty per cent of respondents stated the 14/14 roster was the most popular due to its balance between time at work and time off work
Other reasons given included the flexibility of the schedule to increase time at home (14 per cent) and to meet family needs (16 per cent).
According to Mining People Independent, balanced-time rosters with long swings at work and home also reduce a worker’s potential salary by a quarter due to less time on-site.
“Clearly, for many mine workers, the opportunity cost of a long even-time roster which allows for a greater work-life balance is worth it,” Mining People Independent stated.
In February 2021, a separate Mining People Independent survey found only 13 per cent of mining industry employees prioritised work-life balance when searching for a new job – a far cry from the 47 per cent of mine workers prioritising work-life balance in 2016.
Forty three per cent prioritised salary and 40 per cent favoured career development when job seeking.
Australia’s mining sector employs more than 250,000 workers as of February 2021, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.