Q&A with Karen Mangia, Author of


The shift to working from home has fundamentally changed the way many people work, leading to both new challenges and new opportunities in the workforce as a whole. With this very relevant theme, AAE chose Karen Mangia’s book “Working from Home: Making the New Normal Work for You,” as December’s book club selection.

Karen Mangia is an internationally-recognized thought leader whose TEDx appearance, keynotes, blogs, and books reach hundreds of thousands of business leaders each year. She is the author of “Working from Home: Making the New Normal Work for You,” “Listen UP! How to Tune Into Customers and Turn Down the Noise,” and “Success With Less.” A prolific blogger and sought-after media interviewee, she has been featured in Forbes and regularly contributes to Thrive Global and ZDNet.

As Vice President of Customer and Market Insights at Salesforce, she engages current and future customers around the world to discover new ways of creating success and growth together. She serves on the company’s Work from Home Taskforce, where she is helping the company’s 50,000+ worldwide employees to better adapt to a work-from-home environment. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, she also serves on the company’s Racial Equality and Justice Taskforce. Prior to starting at Salesforce, she spearheaded Customer Satisfaction and Experience at Cisco Systems.

With the shift to at-home working for many in 2020, Mangia’s book helps to ease the transition with concrete strategies and practical advice to find work/life balance during this uncertain time. Touching on aspects such as creating a workspace, managing productivity, dealing with Zoom fatigue, and creating a powerful impact virtually, Mangia inspires her audience with detailed strategies on how to make the best of working from home. Read on for more details about her inspiration, process, and intended impact for writing “Working from Home.”


What inspired you to write this book?  

To offer help and hope. The honeymoon is over on work from home. And people are seeking ways to live and to work in a more sustainable way. To go beyond the burnout and Zoom Zombie experiences to refresh and discover a new kind of success. I’ve been working from home since 2002, and I have timely insights to share based on what I’ve discovered to help people find a path forward even in these uncertain times.


What does “Working from Home” mean to you?

“Working From Home” is a story about success. Success is not a destination or a location. Success is not a number in your bank account, your title, an achievement, or an award. Success happens one moment at a time. And you can succeed from anywhere if you know where to look. Writing this book means offering tools to help people discover new success in our new context.


What is one way people can change their mindset during this uncertain time?

I heard a story partway into the pandemic that stopped me in my tracks. The guy who shared it with me nearly died. He’s a professional racecar driver. His name is James Hinchcliffe. He was qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 race when he hit turn three at 235 mph. His car flipped upside down, hit the wall, and a piece of the suspension skewered his torso. After blood transfusions and emergency surgery, he woke up with a tube down his throat – only able to communicate using pen and paper. His first question to his doctor- how fast can I get back into a racecar? He realized the only response to a setback is a comeback. And he adopted a mindset shift at that time that would serve us all well right now: #ChallengeAccepted. The shift is a gift that makes it possible for us to Accept – Adapt – Accelerate.


How can businesses transform to better address working from home?

Creating a high-performance remote work culture is top of mind for every leader. What organizations need to solve is the trust gap. Leaders want to know their employees are working. Employees want their leaders to know how hard they’re working. How do we solve that? Trust. One of the most powerful trust-building strategies is distributed ownership. Distributed teams require distributed ownership. When was the last time you considered what outcomes you need to deliver as well as who could best own them? How does it feel when your boss trusts you to own something new? That’s when the organization can shift to new models and work and unlock new growth.


What is next for you as an author?  

Just 60 days after launching “Working From Home: Making the New Normal Work For You,” I launched a new book called, “Listen UP!: How to Tune in to Customers, and Turn Down the Noise” with a foreword by Geoffrey Moore. Now I’m focused on helping individuals and organizations realize impact and growth by applying the concepts in both books. 


Mangia offers powerful insight not only on the individual level of how to motivate yourself when working from home through work/life balance, new strategies for connection and team-building, and delivering strong virtual presentations but also on the company-wide level of how businesses can shift their mindset to adapt and accelerate to new heights and embody trust with their employees.

Contact AAE Speakers today if you’re interested in booking Mangia or another great keynote speaker to make your next event a success, whether it’s in-person, hybrid, or virtual.