To tell the truth, i have no clue what a floaker is. Based on context in the book i’d define it as:
A portmanteau of floater and worker meaning a person who brazenly adopts a lifestyle of doing the minimum amount of work to accomplish a task.
Floakers are not just lazy. They are also not untalented. They are not undriven. A floaker might have worked very hard to reach a position where they can floak.
I think Wally from the Dilbert cartoon is a place to start envisioning a floaker. But a floaker isn’t actively trying to sabotage their work. They also wouldn’t waste so much time concealing their idleness.
A floaker has a sense of detachment. They are moving through life but not engaging in it. They are flagrant in their floaking. It is in their walk and their talk.
I imagine being a floaker is good in an emergency. No panic and they do get the work done.
Floakers arent leaders.
In the book floakers make good immersers. An immerser is crew on a craft – miab going through immersion. The main qualification for being an immerser is not being sick during the trip. It seems to me that being a floaker and standing the stresses of immersing are related in some way. The main character in Embassytown describes herself as a floaker. It is a shield between her and the world.