I'm a freelance software developer and I've been working full-time for a client for a while now. They are happy with me but can't offer a consistent amount of work.
The consequence is that I'm just sitting at the firm and doing nothing, waiting for work and searching to do something useful. I have already informed the owner that things are slow and he can give me work should he have some.
My agreement with the states that they are responsible to come up with work for me, yet this situation just keeps coming up and I really don't feel comfortable with this. For me, it's stressful to constantly look for something to make myself useful.
My work is important to the firm's core business but I'm at a point where I'm about to take a leave and not come back until they give me a well-defined assignment.
I know that a lot of freelancers just have several clients with smaller jobs, but if I just stop working for this client for a while, in reality, I'll have to take another full-time freelance job.
I would like to keep the client, but only show up when it's needed. I think this would solve most of our problems, except for the fact that I'm not compensated for hours that I'm not working for them (but do keep myself available for some %).
Is there a solution to this problem? How do others go about this? Is it realistic to ask them to pay me a monthly small fixed price (10% of full time) for the option that they can contact me + hours that I perform? Is this realistic?