Google Sheets

How to Use the WORKDAY Function in Google Sheets


Google Sheets is a powerful tool that allows you to perform various calculations and operations to make your work more efficient. One of the essential functions in Google Sheets is the WORKDAY function. This function helps in calculating dates based on workdays, which is incredibly useful for project management, scheduling, and other time-sensitive tasks.

When to Use the WORKDAY Function:

The WORKDAY function is used when you need to find a date that is a specified number of workdays in the future or past from a given date. It’s particularly handy when you want to exclude weekends and holidays from your calculations.

How to use WORKDAY function in Google Sheets

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


WORKDAY(start_date, num_days, [holidays])

  • start_date – The date from which to begin counting.
  • num_days – The number of working days to advance from start_date. If negative, counts backwards.
    • If num_days is not an integer, the decimal part is truncated. That is, WORKDAY(A2,1.9) is equivalent to WORKDAY(A2,1).
  • holidays – [ OPTIONAL ] – A range or array constant containing the dates 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

How To Use TODAY Function In Google Sheets
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! The WORKDAY function in Google Sheets is used to calculate a future or past date by excluding weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and optionally, a list of custom holidays. To optimize its usage, consider the following tips:

  1. Understand the Syntax:
    • Familiarize yourself with the function’s syntax: WORKDAY(start_date, days, [holidays]).
    • start_date: The initial date.
    • days: The number of workdays to add or subtract.
    • holidays (optional): A range or array of dates to exclude from calculations.
  2. Use Relative Cell References:
    • When referring to the start_date and days arguments, use relative cell references (e.g., A1, B2) rather than hardcoding specific dates or numbers. This allows for dynamic calculations.
  3. Incorporate Formulas for Dynamic Dates:
    • Combine WORKDAY with other functions like TODAY or NOW to create dynamic date calculations. For instance, WORKDAY(TODAY(), 5) will give you the date 5 workdays from today.
  4. Utilize Named Ranges:
    • Assign meaningful names to your date ranges. This makes formulas more readable and easier to understand. For example, name your start date range as “StartDate” and use WORKDAY(StartDate, 10).
  5. Handle Holidays with a Range or List:
    • When including holidays, use a named range or create a list of holidays in a separate column. This way, it’s easier to manage and update the list of holidays.
  6. Consider Error Handling:
    • Use error-checking functions like IFERROR to handle potential errors. For example, =IFERROR(WORKDAY(A1, B2, Holidays), "Error") will display “Error” if there’s an issue with the calculation.
  7. Be Mindful of Date Formats:
    • Ensure that the dates you’re working with are in a format recognized by Google Sheets (e.g., mm/dd/yyyy or yyyy-mm-dd).
  8. Check for Non-Numeric Input in Days Argument:
    • Ensure that the days argument is a numeric value. If it’s a cell reference, verify that it contains a number.
  9. Keep Track of Working Days:
    • If you’re performing complex calculations, make a note of which days are considered as weekends in your locale. This helps in accurate date predictions.
  10. Test and Verify Results:
    • Always test your formulas with different inputs to ensure they produce the expected results. This helps catch any unexpected behavior.
  11. Documentation and Comments:
    • Document your formulas, especially if they’re complex or involve multiple steps. Use comments to explain your logic.
  12. Optimize Workbook Size:
    • Avoid excessive use of WORKDAY in large datasets, as it can slow down spreadsheet performance. Consider using it selectively or in conjunction with other functions.

Real-World Application

The WORKDAY function in Google Sheets is used to calculate a date that is a specified number of workdays (weekdays) before or after a given date. It’s particularly useful for business and project management scenarios where you need to exclude weekends and holidays from your calculations. Here are some real-world applications of the WORKDAY function:

  1. Project Planning and Scheduling:
    • You can use WORKDAY to calculate project milestones or deadlines based on the estimated number of workdays required for each task.
  2. Employee Leave Management:
    • Human resources departments can use WORKDAY to calculate the end date of an employee’s leave based on a specified number of workdays.
  3. Sales and Revenue Forecasting:
    • WORKDAY can be used to predict delivery dates or expected revenue based on the typical lead time for a product or service.
  4. Inventory Management:
    • Calculate expected delivery dates for new inventory based on the lead time from suppliers, accounting for weekends and holidays.
  5. Loan and Interest Calculations:
    • In finance, WORKDAY can be used to calculate the next payment due date, taking into account non-working days.
  6. Customer Support Response Time:
    • Use WORKDAY to calculate the expected response or resolution date for customer support tickets, considering weekends and holidays.
  7. Project Cost Estimation:
    • If your project has costs associated with each workday (e.g., labor costs), you can use WORKDAY to estimate the total cost.
  8. Shift Scheduling:
    • Managers can use WORKDAY to generate schedules for employees, ensuring that they work a specified number of days in a given period.
  9. Event Planning:
    • When planning events, WORKDAY can be used to determine dates for sending invitations, ordering supplies, or setting up venues.
  10. Production Planning:
    • In manufacturing, WORKDAY can help schedule production runs based on lead times, ensuring that production doesn’t occur on non-working days.
  11. Shipping and Logistics:
    • Calculate expected delivery dates for shipped products, accounting for transit time and non-working days.
  12. Resource Allocation:
    • Use WORKDAY to allocate resources for a project based on estimated workdays needed for each task.
  13. Budgeting and Financial Analysis:
    • For budgeting purposes, WORKDAY can be used to estimate when revenue or expenses will occur, considering workdays.
  14. Retail Store Operations:
    • Determine optimal restocking schedules for a retail store, factoring in delivery lead times and days the store is open.
  15. Deadline Management in Legal and Regulatory Compliance:
    • Ensure that legal filings, compliance reports, and deadlines are met by using WORKDAY to calculate due dates, accounting for holidays.


In conclusion, the WORKDAY function in Google Sheets is a versatile tool that can greatly enhance your ability to manage dates and schedules for various projects. By following the provided syntax and incorporating the suggested tips, you can use this function effectively and efficiently. Remember to use cell references and named ranges for better organization, and consider conditional formatting to highlight critical dates. Additionally, for international projects, the WORKDAY.INTL function provides customization options for different weekend schedules.


Q: Can the WORKDAY function be used to calculate dates in the past?
A: Yes, the WORKDAY function can be used to calculate dates in the past by providing a negative number of workdays in the days argument.
Q: What if I don’t have any holidays to consider?
A: If you don’t have any holidays to consider, you can omit the holidays argument from the WORKDAY function. It is optional.
Q: Can the WORKDAY function handle custom weekend schedules?
A: Yes, if you need to account for weekends that differ from the standard Saturday-Sunday, you can use the WORKDAY.INTL function, which allows you to specify custom weekend parameters.
Q: How can I make my spreadsheet more organized when using the WORKDAY function?
A: Consider using cell references and named ranges for your date inputs. This not only makes your formulas easier to read, but also allows for quick adjustments without modifying the formula itself.
Q: Can I use conditional formatting with the WORKDAY function?
A: Yes, conditional formatting can be applied to highlight important dates, such as project deadlines or holidays. This feature helps you visually identify key information in your spreadsheet.

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