WORKDAY function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the WORKDAY function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.


Returns a number that represents a date that is the indicated number of working days before or after a date (the starting date). Working days exclude weekends and any dates identified as holidays. Use WORKDAY to exclude weekends or holidays when you calculate invoice due dates, expected delivery times, or the number of days of work performed.

 Tip   To calculate the serial number of the date before or after a specified number of workdays by using parameters to indicate which and how many days are weekend days, use the WORKDAY.INTL function.


WORKDAY(start_date, days, [holidays])

The WORKDAY function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

 Important   Dates should be entered by using the DATE function, or as results of other formulas or functions. For example, use DATE(2008,5,23) for the 23rd day of May, 2008. Problems can occur if dates are entered as text.


  • Microsoft Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers so they can be used in calculations. By default, January 1, 1900 is serial number 1, and January 1, 2008 is serial number 39448 because it is 39,448 days after January 1, 1900.
  • If any argument is not a valid date, WORKDAY returns the #VALUE! error value.
  • If start_date plus days yields an invalid date, WORKDAY returns the #NUM! error value.
  • If days is not an integer, it is truncated.


The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
    Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
    Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
  4. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.


Date Description
10/01/2008 Start date
151 Days to completion
11/26/2008 Holiday
12/4/2008 Holiday
1/21/2009 Holiday
Formula Description (Result)
=WORKDAY(A2,A3) Date 151 workdays from the start date (4/30/2009)
=WORKDAY(A2,A3,A4:A6) Date 151 workdays from the start date, excluding holidays (5/5/2009)

 Note   In the Excel desktop application, to convert the range of cells used for holidays in the last example into an array constant, select A4:A6 in the formula, and then press F9. In Excel Online, you cannot create constant arrays.

 Tip    In the Excel desktop application, to format the numbers that are returned as dates, select them, and then on the Home tab, in the Number group, click the Dialog Box Launcher Button image. On the Number tab, in the Category list, click Date, and then in the Type list, click the date format that you want to use. In Excel Online, to view the result as a date select the cell, and then on the Home tab, in the Number group, click the arrow next to Number Format, and click Short Date or Long Date.

Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses