It may sound like a no-brainer, but knowing the number of working days in a month is crucial for a business owner. It’s helpful for a number of reasons, like managing your team’s workload, organizing schedules, and tracking progress.

Not to mention, the number of business days in a month has a direct impact on your bottom line. Making a small mistake like confusing working days with calendar days can disrupt work-life balance or lead to unexpected business costs, so you must know the nuances of each.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what constitutes a working day, week, or month to help you achieve better control over workloads and finances. Let’s begin.

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What is a working day?

A working day is exactly what it sounds like: a day when an employee works or is scheduled to work. While there are 365 days in a year, there are only 260 working days in a year due to weekends, holidays, and a variety of other factors.

How many work hours in a day?

Typically, work days consist of approximately eight hours. However, depending on the company and industry, they can be defined in various ways:

  • The “nine to five” workday. Strictly speaking, the working hours aren’t exactly 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but this refers to the traditional eight straight hours of work. Some companies may include the lunch break in the work schedule, while others may not.
  • A full 24-hour period. Companies with flexible work hours may consider the full 24 hours part of the work day. An example would be a customer support department with rotating shifts, where team members can pass along ongoing processes and tickets to the following shift. In this scenario, the end of the day extends to midnight of the following date.

Some states have overtime laws that mandate employers to pay higher rates when the employee has worked more than a specific number of hours in a day. For example, overtime rates begin at the eight-hour mark in California and Nevada and the 12-hour mark in Colorado.

What is a working week?

Traditionally, a standard work week spans from Monday through Friday, although some jobs require working on weekend days.

In any case, working weeks are less complicated than working days. In the US, a standard working week is 40 hours. Any work that exceeds 40 hours is considered overtime.

Because there’s a weekend day at either end of the week, distributed teams that work only on weekdays don’t have to worry about when the workweek starts and ends. This is much simpler than accounting for as many as 24 different time zones when planning and tracking daily work.

Working week vs. calendar week

Differentiating a working week and a calendar week is straightforward. Most consider the work week to span from Monday to Friday (though some teams use different schedules). On the other hand, a calendar week is the full seven-day week from Sunday to Saturday.

For work schedules with night shifts during the last day of the week, it’s crucial to specify whether the full shift counts toward the start date or end date or if the hours are divided between the two dates they were rendered. This helps ensure employees are correctly paid and that financial records are accurate.

What is a working month?

A working month refers to the collection of work days in a given month minus weekends and holidays. On average, there are four weeks or 20 working days in a month.

Working month vs. calendar month

While a working month counts the days employees can work, a calendar month spans the first day of the month until the last. Of course, months vary in length (usually 30 or 31 days,  with the exception of February).

Take the month of January 2024, for example. The calendar month is 31 days long, with eight weekend days and two public holidays:

  • January 1: New Year’s Day (Monday)
  • January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday)

To get the total number of days in a working month, take the length of the calendar month and subtract the weekends and public holidays (or federal holidays):

31 – 8 – 2 = 21

Therefore, the working month of January 2024 has 21 days.

2024 Federal Holidays

How many average working days are in a month?

There are 20 to 22 working days (or approximately four work weeks) in a month. Assuming an employee works full-time or eight hours per day, this translates to somewhere between 160 to 176 hours every month.

Some specific months can have more or fewer working days, especially if holidays fall in them. There are also a few other odd occurrences. 

For instance, if you’re reading this post at the time it was originally written, 2024 is a leap year. This means February will have 29 days — a phenomenon that occurs once every four years. 

For example, February 2020 was also a leap year. Nine of the 29 days were weekend days, and the 19th was a federal holiday (Washington’s Birthday), resulting in 19 work days. 

In comparison, February 2023 only had 28 days. Eight were weekend days, with the 19th falling on a Sunday. As a result, it had 20 working days, more than February 2020, despite being one calendar day shorter.

On the other hand, a month can have as many as 23 working days. This occurs more commonly in March and August, which have 31 days and no holidays.

How many average working days are in a year?

On average, there are 250 working days in a year. The formula is simple: count the number of weekdays in the year and then subtract the number of holidays.

For example, 2023 had 260 weekdays and 11 holidays, resulting in 249 work days.

That said, this doesn’t account for other factors like:

  • Paid time off
  • State- or country-specific holidays (if you have an international team)
  • Emergencies

Maintaining a team-wide calendar is a reliable way to keep track of working days. Add each team member to a shared platform like Google Calendar and ask them to add their local holidays and time off so you can plan accordingly.

Hubstaff time off requests menu

You can integrate Google Calendar with a time tracking tool like Hubstaff to streamline work hours tracking and payroll. Employees can file PTO requests on Hubstaff, which will automatically synchronize with your team calendar. Hubstaff is also great for automating:

  • Timesheets
  • Payroll
  • Invoicing
  • Work orders
  • etc.

If manually calculating pay periods or using a business days calculator is not your thing, eliminate admin time, frustration, and room for error by giving Hubstaff a try with a free 14-day trial

Conclusion

A workday is one of the most basic units in workload management, but it is also the building block to successful projects and engaged employees.

Knowing how many work days you have helps teams set goals, manage finances, and build a healthy, productive environment. This applies regardless of your industry, whether you’re leading an office or remote team.

FAQs

How many work weeks in a month?

There are 4.34 weeks in a month on average. This means there are roughly four weeks in a month (but some months will have five weeks).

How many business days in a week?

While there are seven days in a week, The standard nine-to-five business week has five days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

How many hours in a year?

There are 8760 hours in a calendar year. Of course, that definitely shouldn’t be the number of hours you work in a year.

When you factor in weekends and rest days for much-needed work-life balance, the average person works 40 hours per week (eight hours per day). If you keep that pace for the entire year (52 weeks), the standard work schedule is 2080 hours per year.

Category: Management