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How to Use Technology to Create Better Balance

QVC - Albany IrvinQVC - Rebecca Kerper-006by Albany Irvin, QVC Program Host and Rebecca Kerper, QVC Director eCommerce

“It’s not about the megapixels, it’s about the memories,” says Rebecca Kerper, Director of eCommerce at QVC and mother of four boys under eight. Her philosophy about a camera mirrors her philosophy about tech items at QVC, where electronics represent a noteworthy category of the company’s $8.5 billion in annual sales worldwide. “Our goal is to make electronics more accessible and more meaningful to women. The right technology enables us to make calendars, to-do lists, cameras, even music accessible in your pocket, purse or desk. Using technology can make our lives better by helping us multitask more effectively and achieve balance at work or home.”

Rebecca advises to choose technology that’s right for you by considering what excites you and what will keep you connected. “For instance, today you can find a DSL camera that allows you to achieve quality that was previously inaccessible to anyone but a professional photographer,” she says. “When you combine pictures or video from your camera or phone and upload them to social media, you can turn any event into a rich, shared experience with friends and family. People can connect with you and see you in an entirely different way when they can interact and discover new aspects about your life and interests.”

“Technology doesn’t do any good if it just sits on a shelf, that’s why I strive to make it understandable,” says Albany Irvin, a QVC program host and busy mother of three who specializes in presenting tech products on air. “Our customers are part of a strong social community where they share trends and experiences, and tell us what they need and want. Staying connected and forming real relationships is so important, especially for women. Technology can help us stay connected in ways we never could before. At QVC, we have something for everyone, from the novice to advanced user.

“Tech used to be scary. But today it’s becoming fun and trendy. Imagine coordinating a power source with your designer handbag! For instance, the HALO Pocket Power Charger for Cellphones and Electronics powers up gadgets when you’re away from a power source. It’s about the size of a tube of lipstick, and with lively color choices and zebra and leopard prints, it’s fun and fashionable!”

Staying Connected at Work

Today’s workforce has blurred the lines between the work day and personal time. Technology helps bridge the gap, allowing people to refuel with a quick, personal touch-base during the work day, just by tapping into a personal smartphone or tablet. It’s possible to catch up on news, shop for a gift, send a message, make a reservation or check e-mails right from your desk during a break or lunch.

And during off hours, it’s just as easy to keep track of work-related matters from the comfort of your home. “Employees can check e-mails or respond to correspondence in the evening if they choose,” says Rebecca. “And while it’s completely okay not to, for some it offers the flexibility necessary to achieve the right balance.”

Innovative software applications (apps) like Skype, where users connect by voice and video via the Internet, offer an ideal virtual face-to-face meeting alternative, eliminating the hassle and expense of travel and diminishing time away from home and the office. Apps, which are often free or inexpensive, can help streamline and simplify a variety of tasks for the entrepreneur or corporate executive.

A Few of Our Favorites Things

Rebecca and Albany have the opportunity to see the newest tech gadgets and trends and review hundreds of items each year. Here are just a few of the newest gadgets and software apps they count on to make life more enjoyable, efficient and easier:

Rebecca: Technology lets us enjoy the things we love. I appreciate technology that lets me multitask effectively, keep track of family life and stay organized at the office. I even have a gadget to track how many steps I take a day and how many hours of sleep I get, to make sure I’m not skimping on healthy habits.

  • Speakers no more than three inches high, like PopRock and Jam Plus Wireless Speakers, let you enjoy music from just about any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as your cell phone, smartphone, iPad® or iPod®. I sync my playlist up to the speaker and the sound is amazing, outside or inside my car.
  • I depend on Cozi™ Calendar, a free app that provides a color-coded calendar and shared shopping and to-do lists that the whole family can access. My husband and I use it to stay in touch and figure out how we will get which child where!

Albany: Tech isn’t one size fits all, it’s important to utilize it for what makes you happy and what makes your life better. Apps truly allow me to run my household from wherever I am.  I’m in love with ZipList, where you can build your grocery list, organize grocery trips, find and save your favorite recipes from the web, and share with family or friends. Fitness apps and gadgets like Fitbit® let me set personal goals for food intake, weight, even how much water I drink!

  • A good tablet such as a Kindle, Nook® or iPad not only addresses my on-the-go work needs, it acts like a chameleon as I pass it among my three children, each with different interests. For instance, the Kindle boasts a whopping 11-hour battery life and weighs less than a pound, making it easy to transport anywhere. When I’m running around managing kids, I set up the parental controls before we leave for the day. I download a few books from the library and some games from the app store. With more than 23 million movies, apps, games and songs, the hardest part is making up your mind! And I can check my e-mail and calendar to stay on track. Once I get home, I use it to download recipes. My oldest daughter uses it for her reading assignments. Later when I can carve out a tiny bit of me time, I can download an e-book (my favorite is historical romance), or keep my mind sharp with a new Sudoku app. Then off to bed to start the madness over the next day!
  • A portable scanner, or a scanning phone app, is invaluable to track business cards, receipts, loyalty cards, health insurance cards and membership cards. Phone apps like Key Ring™ serve as a one-stop place to keep track of it all. That translates into no more loyalty cards hanging off the key chain. It’s like a concierge right on your phone!

“Technology is no longer just about ‘nice to have,’” says Albany, “it’s ‘must have.’ It’s allowing us to connect at work through video conference calls, or relate on a social level through shared experiences on a website that focuses on crafts or design. Technology is enabling us to be more efficient and enjoy more wherever we are.

“Just like you don’t have to understand electricity to turn the lights on, you don’t have to be tech savvy to enjoy it. Your best resource to help you discover technology is listening to recommendations and giving things a try. There is no one perfect gadget or app, and we all have different preferences, so if one doesn’t work for you, simply get a different one. QVC’s 30-day return policy gives customers a chance to try things that they haven’t tried before, without risk. It enables you to discover what works best for you.

“Tech empowers us be to more efficient, creative and connected anytime, anywhere. It’s our personal decision to decide when to use it and when to turn it off. But when we are ready to gear back up, it’s always at our fingertips, giving us the ability to strike the balance that is just right for each lifestyle.”

Connect with Albany on Twitter: @albanyirvinQVC and on Facebook: AlbanyIrvin

 

 
Themes: blog, Life Balance
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