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Fortune 500 Company to Relocate China Headquarters to Nanjing Lu as Sheraton Hotels Hosts First-Ever 'Global Out-of-the-Office Day'

2008-09-13 01:03 1099

Guests Invited to Join Sheraton to Celebrate the 'Link@Sheraton experienced With Microsoft'

Global Work-Life Study Reveals Today's Professionals Connected to Work 24/7 - Even in the Bedroom

SHANGHAI, China, Sept. 16 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Today, work becomes a stroll along West Nanjing Lu as Sheraton Hotels invites Shanghainese to swap their ties for t-shirts and spend the day working on West Nanjing Lu. There they will join China based associates from Sheraton's parent company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), as the Fortune 500 company relocates its China headquarters to work remotely from West Nanjing Lu (in front of City Plaza) as part of Sheraton's first-ever "Global Out of the Office Day" (G.O.O.D). Thousands around the world will work "out of the office" today to showcase the brand's new "Link@Sheraton(sm) experienced with Microsoft(R)," a unique lobby lounge that creates a sense of community and offers travelers a convenient on-line experience and instant access to information for work, leisure and social networking. For the day, Sheraton is recreating virtual Links in outdoor venues around the globe including New York City's famed Central Park, Shanghai, Sydney, Toronto and San Diego.

Designed for today's professional who are no longer chained to the office and can seamlessly maintain productivity while working remotely, the Link@Sheraton is currently rolling out to Sheraton hotels worldwide as a key component of a comprehensive effort to revitalize the iconic Sheraton brand and enhance the guest experience at Sheraton's 408 hotels in 75 countries. Sheraton and its owners are undertaking a multi-year strategy to enhance the brand's portfolio, that includes $1.3 billion in renovations, $400 million in key brand initiatives and more than $2 billion in new hotel openings.

To kick-off Global Out-of-Office-Day, Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen will officially open Central Park for business at its virtual Link@Sheraton with a "remote ringing" of the New York Stock Exchange opening bell at the park, while Starwood's China Senior Vice President for Operations Qian Jin and Sheraton Brand Director for Asia Pacific Vincent Ong will officially open West Nanjing Lu for business at its virtual Link@Sheraton located in front of City Plaza. Sheraton's Link on Nanjing Lu will provide free Wi-Fi, fully functioning computer workstations, plasma TVs and comfortable work zones. Additionally, Sheraton will also announce results of a Work-Life survey conducted recently.

Sheraton's Link is designed to serve the needs of its core guests who are social, successful individuals seeking to balance work and play while also sharing the travel experience with each other. Designed as a social destination, the Link@Sheraton invites guests to interact with each other while they check their email and research local attractions using free Wi-Fi and Internet-enabled computer stations. A key feature of the Link@Sheraton experience is Microsoft branded webcams, allowing guests of all ages to easily email video postcards back home. The Link@Sheraton experience also features televisions, daily newspapers and The Link Cafe to offer guests a variety of food and beverage items as they stay connected. Through its relationship with Microsoft, the new "Link@Sheraton experienced with Microsoft" will offer Microsoft computer terminals and Internet access points running Microsoft products.

Today's Professionals Connected to Work 24/7 - Even in the Bedroom

To coincide with Global Out of Office Day, Sheraton today announced the findings of a Work-Life study it commissioned to gauge the work habits of today's professionals. New technology continues to transform the way we live and work with 85% of U.S. professionals surveyed said that because of new technology, they feel compelled to be connected to work 24/7 and 81% say they work harder than they did five years ago. So just how addicted are we as a society to staying connected? Well, the vast majority of people (84%) say they check their PDA's just before going to bed and as soon as they wake up, 85% say they sneak a peak at their PDA in the middle of the night, and 80% say they check their e mail before morning coffee. A whopping 87% of professionals bring their PDA into the bedroom, and in what may or may not be a related finding, more than one-third of folks surveyed (35%) say if forced to choose, they'd pick their PDA over their spouse!

The days of being chained to your desk are over, and 85% say that PDA's and cell phones allow them to spend more time out of the office and 79% believe they can be just as productive outside of the office as opposed to inside the office. Most people feel that technology gives them more quality time and flexibility with family and friends (84%) and 77% say their PDA helps them enjoy life more.

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Helping guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 75 countries around the world, Sheraton is revitalizing its iconic brand while continuing its aggressive international expansion by adding 54 hotels and 20,000 guestrooms by 2009.

Sheraton Hotels is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Sheraton(R), Westin(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, W(R), Le Meridien(R), and the recently launched AloftSM, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit http://www.starwoodhotels.com and http://www.starwoodpressclub.com .

(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

Source: Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
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