Don't miss your flight home

Some years ago I actually wondered about whether or not to take a job because I didn't want to spend an hour catching two trains. This seems a little trivial in light of an emerging trend which was reported recently about people travelling interstate for their work.

Last week the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Sydney house prices were pushing families to move to Qld. In the article they featured a professional who chose to move with her partner and two children just outside Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast so they could buy the home of their dreams, without a crippling mortgage. She travels two days per week to work in Sydney, while the remainder of the week she works from home.

The article quoted social demographer Mark McCrindle, who says this form of "fly in fly out" (FIFO) practice is an emerging trend. It quotes him saying, "with the availability and affordable cost of flights, the ability to use that travel time to work, and the increase in technology, people are able to work a couple of days from home and work interstate for a couple of days."

While FIFO has existed for some years for people working in remote locations, I wonder whether this will catch on more broadly? Whatever the case, it will only be an option for some. The fact is that while many of us will find it harder to live close to our place of work, it will be even more difficult for lower skilled workers.

While my own decision did not involve considering the kind of travel that some experience, it was still an important factor for me. My biggest concern was how it would impact on other areas of my life, especially my family life. It's often a consideration that I suspect is not taken seriously enough when thinking about our choice of work. Let's pray that this emerging trend does not take away more than it promises.

Gabriel Lacoba