This one’s a little tricky.
This is a very broad statement, because space is so important. You need somewhere big to keep your tools, wood scraps, etc, not to mention all of the work you’re doing so you can sleep. The thing is, I don’t have a great answer to this question. My answer is that it all depends on the size of your shop and whether you prefer woodworking with a table or a work bench. Personally, my shop has almost too much open space to use one table, so I use that, but if you have a small shop where you need just a little more space, you might not need a table. I have found that a shop with a bench is more economical because if you use too much wood, you won’t need a bench. If you want to build a large shop, you can get a nice bench with a countertop as a base and add your bench on. The only caveat is that you must have the wood on the bench, not in the table. The wood needs to be ready when you want to use it. Some shops have a bench with a piece of table to hold all the wooden parts so the wood doesn’t go anywhere. In the beginning, I used this and the bench was almost empty. Then I had one or two customers who wanted the bench to hold something else, and it was too short and I had to start using it as a table. Now, the customers love the bench and I’ve had no complaints about using it. Also, don’t forget to include the work area. You still need the bench to make your workspace easy to go about the work. I don’t like leaving the work area without my workbench. Also, make sure you can get everything to reach the work bench. I don’t know about other shops, but for me, the bench requires a table to sit on. I can stand with my legs in the chair so my work space isn’t getting blocked by anything out of the way. When your bench is empty, I suggest using a bench protector instead of a table. Your bench will still be useful.
Are there any special tools you always keep on hand? For my woodworking shop (which is about 10’x10′), my bench is mostly a workbench. Other people might prefer to keep something that can handle the bench and the countertop. Some people get by without a table on the work table because the work table is a little too tall for most of the work they do