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Google Sheets Formulas

WORKDAY Function in Google Sheets: Explained

In this article, you will learn how to use the WORKDAYS formula in Google Sheets.

What does the WORKDAY formula do in Google Sheets?

The WORKDAY function tells you the date after the specified number of working days from a given starting date. So, this formula is beneficial when you have a starting date and an ideal number of project days and want to know the end date of the project period, excluding the number of holidays if needed.

How do you use the WORKDAY function in Google Sheets?

  1. Type “=WORKDAY(” or go to “Insert”“Function” (or directly navigate to the “Functions” icon)  “Date”“WORKDAY”.
  2. Input the starting date, the number of working days to add, and dates of holidays to be excluded from the specific period.
  3. Press the “Enter” key.
How to insert the WORKDAY function from the menu bar in Google Sheets

The general syntax is as follows:

=WORKDAY(start_date, num_days, [holidays])

Start_date: The starting date of an event or project, etc.

Num_days: The number of working days you expect to work

Holidays [Optional]: Dates of holidays you want to take into account

Let’s see the following examples in the picture to get a picture of how the WORKDAY function works in Google Sheets. Look at the table at the top right in the screenshot. We have five pairs to show how outcomes by the formulas change depending on whether they have the “holidays” argument. In a pair, the upper function doesn’t have the “holidays” parameter, whereas the lower formula contains the “holidays” argument. So, you can see the slight differences between the dates returned by the upper and the lower formulas in each pair. As the lower one doesn’t consider holidays as working days, we have the later date in the lower row. 

For example, look at the table's fifth pair (Project E). The function in the top cell (H11) returns (12/12/2022)  by counting fifteen working days from the starting date (11/21/2023). The lower formula (in cell H12) excludes two days (Thanksgiving Day and Day after Thanksgiving Day) from the working days; thus, its end date (12/14/2023) is two days later than the date returned by the top one (12/12/2023) to secure fifteen working days.

How the WORKDAY function works in Google Sheets with examples

Next, assume you want to add today’s date to this list and make the project list dynamic to monitor the number of working days left to finish each project by its expected ending date.

  1. Insert a column showing a current date. Use the TODAY function.
  2. Add another column presenting the number of working days left. You can use the NETWORKDAYS function to calculate it. (Check this article to learn how to use the NETWORKDAS formula: TBU)
  3. As the dates pulled by the TODAY function are updated whenever you open the file, you can track the number of working days left for the projects in real time.
How to create a dynamic project list by using the WORKDAY and NETWORKDAYS functions

What is the difference between the WORKDAY and NETWORKDAYS functions in Google Sheets?

As described above, the WORKDAY function gives you the end date after the specified number of days from a particular starting date, excluding the number of holidays input, if any. So, the WORKDAY formula is useful when you have a certain starting date and a  specific number of project days. On the other hand, the NETWORKDAYS function returns the number of working days based on the given starting and ending dates, excluding special holidays entered, if any. The NETWORKDAYS is helpful when you have particular starting and ending dates for a project.

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Other formulas related to date and time

If you don’t get the correct answer to your question in this article or have other questions related to date and/or time, you may find the answers in the following articles.

Formulas related to dates

How to Use EDATE Function in Google Sheets - understand a date before/after a specific number of days

DAYS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - calculate the number of days between the two dates

NETWORKDAYS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - calculate the number of working days between two dates, excluding holidays

EOMONTH Function in Google Sheets: Explained - understand an end date of a month

DATEVALUE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - convert a date into a serial number

YEAR Function in Google Sheets: Explained - extract the year from a given date

MONTH Function in Google Sheets: Explained - the month from a given date

DAY Function in Google Sheets: Explained - the day from a given date

DATE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - create a date value based on year, month and day input

Formulas related to time

How to Insert Current Time in Google Sheets - NOW function

You can learn about other Google Sheets formulas and tips that are not mentioned here on this page: LiveFlow‘s How to Guides

Learn how to do this step-by-step in the video below 👇

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