‘With innovations, we make work more fun and accessible for everyone’

In the heart of the Netherlands, technology helps people work easier and more enjoyably.
Amfors Inclusive Fieldlab in Amersfoort deploys technological inventions to make work more accessible for people distanced from the labor market. From its central location in the middle of the country, the company inspires other organizations.

Amfors uses technologies to make people’s lives better. This is in line with the ambition of Utrecht, Heart of Health where digitalization makes a positive contribution to a healthy society. “It is unique that we use innovations within social employment,” says project leader Judith Jansen. “For example, we use our 3D printer to make tools that support our employees. Think of a mold with ten boxes that need to be filled with a part. Someone who cannot count well can, through this tool, do this work.”

Smart solutions

Many of the smart solutions the lab develops, tests and introduces are existing innovations. Possibly they were initially created for a different purpose, but Amfors is looking at them with fresh eyes. “We are looking every day for innovations that can support people in their work.

Smart Beamer

For example, Amfors deploys the Smart Beamer when performing assembly work. The beamer projects instructions onto a table. The employee follows them step by step. This makes the work accessible to everyone. People work more independently and learn new skills. “One of our employees cannot read and write, but he learned all kinds of things through the beamer. This gave him so much self-confidence that he now tries out more things at home. That’s when you know you’re making an impact.”

Meet

The solutions and innovations improve the employees’ lives in several ways. They feel that they count, because Amfors is doing everything possible to make work possible for them. “Moreover, by introducing our people to technology, they become part of our changing society. They can develop further and learn new things.”

Thinking along

Employees also get the chance to think along. The 3D printer lends itself perfectly to implementing ideas directly. “That’s exactly what I like about this kind of innovation. We hear what our employees are up against and look for a solution. Then we sit together at the drawing board. With all these smart solutions, we make work more enjoyable for everyone.” That involvement fosters a connection between all employees.

Fun

But it’s not just new technologies that contribute to the work atmosphere. They can also involve coaching techniques. For example, the company developed a new coaching standard especially for people distanced from the labor market. “We want people to enjoy working for as long as possible. For example, we offer the training course ‘Whistling to Work.’ This is not only about issues related to work, but also about nutrition and your sleeping habits.” All of these solutions help people be healthier in multiple areas of their lives. That fits perfectly with Utrecht, Heart of Health as a region where companies, governments and institutions work together to create a healthier, more sustainable world.

Inspiration

Meanwhile, companies from all over the country come to visit for inspiration. Amfors likes to show how digitization improves people’s lives. The Smart Beamer is now also at two other social work facilities. But Judith hopes that regular employers will also be inspired and start embracing this kind of technology. It is a way to contribute to a healthy society. “Our way of working allows people to participate in society again. If a company has a Smart Beamer in house, someone with a distance to the labor market can work there. Then the labor market becomes a lot more inclusive. That’s what we want, because everyone deserves a place.”

Judith Jansen

Related Initiatives

Amfors Inclusive Fieldlab Medewerkers

‘With innovations, we make work more fun and accessible for everyone’

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