How LA-Based RCH Studios Is Managing The Workplace Transition


RCH (Rios Clementi Hale) Studios is a multi-disciplinary design firm in LA widely known and respected for transforming city landscapes with their innovative designs. From retail to residential and product design, their expansive team of 175 employees thrive on creating solutions to any design challenge presented.

When the COVID quarantine began the team applied this same strategic thinking and quickly devised solutions to keep the staff connected while also serving the LA community. They set up a super smart virtual picnic and purchased food from local restaurants. Then launched an initiative to help first responders by producing over 400 PPE (personal protection equipment) shields with their 3D printers at the office for local hospitals. Here, Erin Gehle—Senior Director of Marketing and Communications—dives a bit deeper into how the team is staying positive and productive.

PPE shields created by RCH Studios using 3D printer.

In almost four weeks of working from our homes, we have now adapted in ways we never dreamed of before this began. Zoom is the new face-to-face meeting; Teams is the new deskside chat; and all-hands staff meetings can happen with hundreds of little squares of faces tuned in to share the weekly happenings.   

A view inside the RCH Studios office in West Adams.

We have learned how quickly the workplace can evolve and change in the face of necessity, how successfully we can collaborate and work remotely, how technology can bring us together in new ways, and how to creatively recreate the things we missed the most. 

In our offices along the Expo line, we have picnic tables next to our kitchen which serve as a way to come together each day over a meal. They’ve been empty as things shifted homeward so it was a welcome surprise when an office-wide invitation showed up last week to join a virtual picnic. Our amazing administrative staff delivered everyone a delicious lunch and Zoom tables were set up by such topics as Tiger King, beauty tips, hidden LA, and gardening. Some people joined one table, and others popped around. But as it ended, it was clear that this kind of connection was exactly what we had all been seeking. 

There is no doubt that much of our regular business can continue over technology — and remarkably well, too. But the reason that we design, to connect people in meaningful ways, reminds us that one of the most important things we can do right now is continue to foster the kinds of connection that feeds our souls, inspires our creativity, and strengthens our connection to each other. Filling even one of those moments between Zoom calls with social connection might be just what we need right now. For tips on how to stay connected with your team when working remote, visit here.

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