If you’re working from home and are also a full-time parent during the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably know the struggle that is being productive. Being pulled in so many different directions can make it hard to give your all to just one thing. You may feel like you’re being mediocre at everything instead of being great at one thing—like your job.

One woman was really starting to feel her productivity sinking. In fact, she felt it so much that she recently asked he boss if she could possibly move to working only 80% of time, which of course would mean her pay would follow suit.

The boss, Aaron Genest, recently took to Twitter about the request—and why he had to deny it.

Yes, that’s right, deny it.

“An employee came to me last week and asked to move to 80% time,” he posted. “Her husband, she said, was taking on some extra responsibility and they were having rouble keeping the kids n track during remote learning. I said no.”

But before you jump down Aaron’s throat, read the rest of what he had to say>

He went on to explain the rationale for his thinking.

“Every reason my employee gave was valid and rational, but the base assumption was wrong,” Aaron explained. “The assumption was that we should expect the same. Thing of our work lives now in terms of productivity and time commitment that we did pre-COVID.”

But that simply isn’t the case, he explained.

“I said no, you can’t become one of those women earning less because of COVID,” he said. “No, you can’t sacrifice your career advancement because of a perceived lack of productivity. No, you don’t need to feel guilty about taking the time to make sure your kids are learning.”

So what’s the solution? By allowing flexibility in the workplace and working together with his employees to ensure they’re able to take the time away from work they need to feel productive.

Above all, he wants his actions to help other employers keep their employees happy. “Let me encourage anyone with the power to do so to deny this change,” he said. “Work with your team from within, above, or below to support the people struggling through this. Please.”

Wow—we never realized a simple denied request could mean so much. You can read his entire Twitter thread here!

What do you think of this boss’s view on work amid the pandemic? Do you feel like work productivity has changed for you? Has your boss been supportive like this?