Are on-site FIFO romances a good idea?

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Is it OK to find love in the red dust? MPi tackles the topic of on-site FIFO romance. Let's take a look.

Is it OK to find love in the red dust?

If you've read our recent article — how to find love if you're a single FIFO worker — you'll know that it’s advisable for anyone with a mining job to find romance with someone who understands your work situation. But what if they really understand it? What if they actually work alongside you?

Forming romantic relationships with colleagues is always a bit of a taboo subject and is  often criticised. However, FIFO mining jobs can make it challenging to find love. So, if sparks happen to fly on-site, should you pursue it?

Here are three quick checks before starting an on-site romance:

  1. Check they don't have a partner at home
  2. Check the person is not your subordinate or superior
  3. Check your company doesn’t have any policies against on-site romances.

Now, if you're not putting in jeopardy any preexisting relationships or careers, let’s look at some basic rules of engagement.

Don’t break the law

Making a pass at a colleague, if it is not welcomed, could be considered sexual harassment. Be cautious if you’re flirting with a colleague and you’re unsure of how they feel.

Never, under any circumstances, make flirtatious and suggestive comments if they have not expressed an interest in you doing so. Moreover, never touch someone unless they have given consent.

Go read your company’s HR policies again, to make sure you never cross a line.

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Be discrete

Your relationship is your business, no one else’s. Out of respect for your partner, keep your relationship out of work-time conversations.

Unless you’re really serious and sharing the happy news with your work friends, it’s better to keep your romance between yourselves. Otherwise, your relationship may end up being the topic of workplace gossip.

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Set guidelines

In an on-site romance, you can expose yourself to scrutiny from colleagues. It’s important that the two of you discuss and establish guidelines for your relationship.

These guidelines could involve who you will tell (if anyone), if you will arrive and leave at the same time and if you will share breaks together. Set guidelines on how you’re both comfortable to approach your relationship in the workplace.

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Discuss an exit strategy

What an excellent romance-killing topic, we know, but it’s crucial that you both consider and agree on how you will handle things if the relationship happens to fade.

Having this discussion in the beginning can save you some severe headaches down the track. Having the ability to communicate about these tough topics reflects maturity and the right attitude to ensure a successful on-site romance without any backlash.

Put your work first

The bottom line is that if you’re in an on-site relationship, that means you’re on-site — you’re at work. Therefore, work should come first.

You must be able to remain on top of your duties. Relationship drama has no place on-site. And on a mine site, that could be potentially dangerous.

Whether you’re sorted for a relationship or not, if it’s time to look for a new mining job, register with MPi. We have been a mining industry recruitment specialist for more than 23 years. Register with us here and let us help you find the right job.

Stephanie O'Brien
Mining People International