It's always tempting to be the martyr at work by working despite illness, especially if you are the leader or the work is crucial or a deadline beckons. But do we need to make this a virtue? Surely in this day and age we should have sensible arrangements in place to sort out problems caused by an employee being off sick? We should also not require workers as some cultural norm to prove their worth by attending work in a state of sickness.
Besides the health and safety risks for everyone, what about the risks posed of not doing the work properly? Doing what is best for the team or the business is more important than the worker proving their ability to work through any kind of sickness or ill-health. Of course, even then there might be very exceptional circumstances but then who really needs to be a martyr?
By showing up for a 9/11 commemoration ceremony on Sunday, despite being diagnosed with pneumonia, the Democratic presidential hopeful was doing what millions of Americans do every day - ignoring her symptoms and attempting to "power through" a day's work.