Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Elizabeth Kaczmarek

Abstract

Australia is currently experiencing an ageing of its population, which has the potential to significantly impact on society, namely, employment. With the entry of Generation Y (Gen Y), the Australian workforce consists of four generations who are working increasingly longer hours. Extended working hours has been recognised as a risk factor for several undesirable consequences and is distinctive of fly in/fly out (FIFO) employment. The purpose of the review is to explore the literature which addresses the impact of FIFO employment with a following emphasis on issues surrounding Gen Y. A range of published work was incorporated from the fields of organisational and psychosocial psychology and covered a variety of workplace and well-being aspects to aid in understanding the impact of offshore FIFO employment and its suitability for Gen Y. The research indicated that FIFO work can present unique challenges for individuals and that Gen Y are exhibiting characteristics not seen before in older generations which has implications for the workforce. Investigation into these topics has typically been done from differing perspectives and consequently, knowledge regarding the direct effects of offshore FIFO employment on the current generation of workers remains largely unknown. Offshore fly in/fly out (FIFO) employment creates unique challenges for personnel, such as restricted working conditions and recurring separations from social support networks. Regardless of these challenges, this industry attracts a wide variety of individuals, including those navigating early adulthood and who belong to the generational cohort known as Generation Y (Gen Y). This qualitative study explored the experiences of Gen Y employed offshore in a FIFO capacity using a social constructionist framework. Ten male participants aged between 18 and 28 years old participated in this study. Thematic content analysis of the in-depth interviews revealed three broad themes; these included the FIFO lifestyle, Self-identity and Relationships. It was concluded that in general, the men were satisfied with their employment and lifestyle, despite the many challenges they are confronted with.

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