Google Sheets

How to Use the NETWORKDAYS Function in Google Sheets


Have you ever wondered how to efficiently calculate the number of workdays between two dates? Well, you’re in luck! Google Sheets comes equipped with a powerful tool known as the NETWORKDAYS function. In this article, we’ll explore how this function works, its syntax, and how it can simplify your workday calculations. So, let’s dive in!

Understanding the  Function

The NETWORKDAYS function in Google Sheets is like a wizard that helps you calculate the number of workdays between two dates, excluding weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and specified holidays. It’s incredibly handy for tasks like project planning, leave management, and much more.

How to use NETWORKDAYS function in Google Sheets

  1. Type “=NETWORKDAYS” or go to the “Insert” tab ➝ “Function” ➝ “Date” ➝ “NETWORKDAYS”.
How To Use NETWORKDAYS Function In Google Sheets
How To Use NETWORKDAYS Function In Google Sheets


NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, [holidays])

  • start_date – The start date of the period from which to calculate the number of net working days.
  • end_date – The end date of the period from which to calculate the number of net working days.
  • holidays – [ OPTIONAL ] – A range or array constant containing the date serial numbers to consider holidays.
    • The values provided within an array for holidays must be date serial number values, as returned by N or date values, as returned by DATE, DATEVALUE or TO_DATE. Values specified by a range should be standard date values or date serial numbers.


Step 1: Open Your Google Sheet

Open Your Google Sheet
Open Your Google Sheet

Step 2: Select a Cell and Enter the Function

Select A Cell And Enter The Function
Select A Cell And Enter The Function

Step 3: Press Enter: Hit the Enter key to apply the function

Hit The Enter Key To Apply The Function
Hit The Enter Key To Apply The Function

Tips for Optimization

Certainly! Here are some tips for optimizing the NETWORKDAYS function in Google Sheets:

  1. Utilize Named Ranges: Instead of directly inputting cell references, assign names to your date ranges. This makes the formula more readable and reduces the chance of errors.
  2. Dynamic Date References: Use dynamic references for start and end dates. For example, you can use TODAY() to automatically update the start date to the current date.
  3. Include Holidays: If your project spans holidays, make sure to include them in the holidays argument of the function. This ensures accurate workday calculations.
  4. Account for Weekends: Remember that by default, the NETWORKDAYS function excludes weekends. If your workweek differs from the standard Monday to Friday, you can customize this with additional parameters.
  5. Consider Time Zones: If your project involves multiple time zones, be aware that the function is not affected by them. Ensure your dates are consistent with the time zone you’re working in.
  6. Use Error Handling: Implement error handling techniques, like IFERROR, to manage situations where there might be missing or incorrect date inputs.
  7. Check for Data Consistency: Ensure that your date format is consistent throughout your spreadsheet. Inconsistent date formats can lead to unexpected results.
  8. Test with Sample Data: Before applying the NETWORKDAYS function to your entire dataset, test it with a small sample to verify that it’s producing the desired results.
  9. Consider Nested Functions: NETWORKDAYS can be nested within other functions to perform more complex calculations. Explore its potential in combination with other Google Sheets functions.
  10. Document Your Formulas: Add comments or annotations to explain the purpose of your NETWORKDAYS formula. This makes it easier for others (and yourself in the future) to understand the logic.

Real-World Application

Certainly! Here are some real-world applications of the NETWORKDAYS function in Google Sheets, explained in points:

  1. Project Management:
    • Calculate the duration of a project in workdays, excluding weekends and holidays. This helps in setting realistic timelines and managing resources efficiently.
  2. Leave and Absence Management:
    • Determine the number of workdays an employee is absent, considering weekends and holidays. This aids in tracking leave balances and payroll processing.
  3. Sales and Marketing Campaigns:
    • Plan marketing campaigns or sales promotions by estimating the number of workdays available within a specific time frame. This ensures timely execution.
  4. Inventory Management:
    • Calculate lead times for ordering and restocking inventory. This prevents stockouts by accounting for non-working days in the supply chain.
  5. Employee Shift Scheduling:
    • Generate employee schedules while ensuring compliance with labor laws. NETWORKDAYS helps in avoiding scheduling conflicts.
  6. Loan and Interest Calculations:
    • Compute the number of business days for interest accrual or loan repayment. This is crucial for financial institutions and borrowers.
  7. Event Planning:
    • Organize events such as conferences, workshops, or seminars, factoring in workdays for preparations, setup, and teardown.
  8. Customer Service and Support:
    • Analyze service level agreements (SLAs) by determining the actual working days available for responding to customer queries or resolving issues.
  9. Production Planning:
    • Schedule manufacturing processes, considering working days, to meet production targets and optimize resources.
  10. Freelance or Contract Work:
    • Calculate billable hours for freelancers or contractors based on the actual working days, ensuring accurate invoicing.
  11. Academic Calendars:
    • Create school or university calendars, accounting for instructional days and breaks while excluding weekends and holidays.
  12. Legal and Compliance Deadlines:
    • Calculate the deadlines for legal filings, contract reviews, or compliance submissions, taking into account business days.
  13. Service Level Agreements (SLAs):
    • Monitor and meet SLA commitments by accurately calculating response times and resolution periods in business days.
  14. Resource Allocation:
    • Optimize resource allocation by factoring in the availability of team members on working days.
  15. Travel Planning:
    • Plan business trips or vacations, considering workdays for preparations, travel, and return.


In conclusion, the NETWORKDAYS function in Google Sheets is a valuable tool for anyone needing to calculate workdays efficiently. By excluding weekends and holidays, it simplifies the process and saves you time. So, next time you’re faced with workday calculations, remember to unleash the power of NETWORKDAYS!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use NETWORKDAYS to account for custom holidays?
Yes, you can! Simply include a range of cells containing the holiday dates as the third argument in the function.
2. What if my start date is after my end date?
No worries! The NETWORKDAYS function will still work its magic and give you the correct result.
3. Are weekends always considered non-working days?
Yes, by default, the function excludes both Saturdays and Sundays from the calculation.
4. Can I use NETWORKDAYS to calculate workdays in different time zones?
Absolutely! NETWORKDAYS is not affected by time zones, making it a reliable tool for global teams.
5. Is there a limit to the number of holidays I can include?
You can include as many holidays as you need, just make sure to list them in the designated range.

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