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Email has extended its reach beyond the traditional workplace into the non-work hours of employees, disrupting the work-life balance. What was once ‘anywhere any time’ has become ‘everywhere all the time’ (Mazmanian, Orlikowski, & Yates, 2013).

This study examines the effects of email intrusion on work-life balance from the perspective of a Christian faith-based organisation, which has the additional dimension of espousing a ‘healthy’ balance between work and life. A survey of 500 employees of such an organisation, attracting 208 respondents, found that nearly all employees owned mobile devices that enable them to access work email outside work time,and that they frequently use these devices when not at work to access work emails.

The employees perceived that anytime work emails have provided them with increased flexibility, but at the same time generated greater and frequently unrealistic expectations of them, by parents, students and to a minor degree school administrators. These employees also often felt that these anytime emails led them to working longer hours, generated a sense of being overloaded, contrary to the espoused values of a work and life balance and the importance of family.

For these employees the solution to the anytime work email intrusion and resulting stress is not some external control. To most of these employees external control would be much too restrictive and teaching was perceived to be and has always been more than just an 8.30am to 3.30pm responsibility.

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