So here's a thing.

I have 8,760 hours in a year (you probably do as well).

I sleep for about seven and a half hours a night (assuming I'm not woken up by one of my children… which I frequently am… but let's say seven and a half).

So that's 2,750 hours when I'm not conscious. Leaving me with 6,010 hours of time to actually do stuff.

I spend about 100 of those running. Way more than that watching Netflix. About 700 hours are spent on getting ready to leave the house, making meals, eating meals, putting kids to bed - the daily life of a busy household. My voluntary role with the Institute of Internal Communication probably accounts for about 40-50 hours. I have completed 39 hours of CPD in the last year (I know because I logged them on the IoIC's system). And more hours than I'd like to admit are taken up by general faffing around.

What's going on the rest of the time? Work. That's what.

I'm not a workaholic. I arrive in the office at about 8.30 and leave at about 5. I generally crack on through my lunch break and maybe do an hour or two extra on days when I work at home. It used to be more – before starting a family and shoulder/back/arm pain started limiting the amount of time I could spend sitting in an office in front of a computer. Even so, it's about 2,000 hours a year all told. One third of my total waking time. Pretty near to half of it if you count the hours I spend in a car and on various trains getting to and from work.

When my daughter (5 years old) asked me recently what I do all day, I told her that it's mostly documents, emails and meetings. (Aside - I find it weird that lots of jobs are entirely composed of those three things, and the people doing those jobs often say they think all three things should be eliminated. I mean, what would we do?) But we know it's more than that don't we? Work is where we can prove ourselves competent, feel purposeful, make a difference, build relationships, and learn about ourselves and the world. A number of my closest friendships have started at work. I met my wife at work. Some of the moments I'm proudest of (and some that I'm most ashamed of) have happened at work.

Work has also had a substantial effect on my happiness. Despite having a loving, wonderful family at home (we have our challenges – so do all families) the time I have struggled the most was in a job that wasn't right for me around people I couldn't get on with. I came home every day feeling, if I'm honest, pretty worthless. It wasn't nice. It lasted a while. I needed help to get through it.

The point I'm labouring here is that work matters in my life. It matters in most lives. I always find it strange that there are so few songs, novels or films about work (compared to everything else)… as if it's just not interesting or important. I think it is both. And I think we owe it to ourselves to make our experience of work as positive and life-affirming as it can be.

I've been an internal communicator for most of my career. I believe we are a profession that can contribute to making work better for the people doing the work. Communication helps us to understand each other. If we understand each other then we can get stuff done together. We can appreciate each other better. Internal communicators are well positioned to see what the experience of working in an organisation is really like for employees. And to share this with the people who do most to shape the experience. It's through this kind of exchange that improvement can happen – to everyone's benefit.

So I'm proud to be involved in the IoIC's #WeMatterAtWork campaign. Because we do matter. Those 2,000 hours matter. We should make them the best they can be.