This year, millennials officially overtook any other working age demographic in the USA. It is predicted that by 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be made up of people born between 1982 and 1993. With startup culture booming, the age gap between management and staff is also decreasing. So aside from the sheer number of people in that age bracket entering employment, what is it about millennials which makes them so vital to office culture in 2015? And how will the characteristics of Generation Y impact business culture in the future?

The death of the office?

According to a recent Huffington Post article, millennial workers feel that the traditional office is no longer a productive work environment. Instead, they jump at the chance to work from home one day a week. and companies are increasingly happy to offer this opportunity. Research has shown that more businesses are making use of the Cloud and other remote servers in order to facilitate this desire in their younger members of staff. Many startups are also run from virtual offices, which provide a “shopfront” for a disparate group of workers who work predominantly in separate locations.

Poor in wealth, rich in experience?

Financial pressures and mounting debts have majorly altered the way millennials view tradition status symbols such as car or home ownership. According to a study by Goldman Sachs, only 15% of millennials asked consider owning a car to be “extremely important” – the same percentage feel this way about owning their own television. Only 23% of millennials asked were married; in the seventies, the median age of marriage was 23 – in 2015, it went up to 30.

The freewheelin’ millennials

Following a survey of millennial workers and their managers, it was found that 53% of managers struggle to source and keep millennials over an extended period of time. This also ties in the same study’s findings that Generation Y’s priorities are based far more on their individual needs. By comparison, their Generation X counterparts are 46% more likely to identify themselves as “team players.”

This self-sufficiency seems crucial to the way members of Generation Y perceive themselves. They want to feel like their work is making a difference, be it to their company, or the world at large. This has been criticised by some corners as narcissism and is often seen in tandem with their status as Twitter-hooked digital natives. However, this can just as easily be argued as determination, knowing what they want and making every available effort to attain it.

That said, their managers do seem to appreciate how the workforce agenda has evolved over time; managers have become happier to play the role of “coach” rather than that of “boss,” choosing to nurture this new talent rather than simply instruct. The Atlantic quoted one manager as saying “these kids are preternaturally together, inventive, and socially aware because they have to be.” As house prices continue to rise, and the cost of going to university becomes increasingly untenable, millennials are becoming ever more likely to live with family for longer, they seek to assert their independence in the professional realm.