|I've been using multiple desktops (aka workspaces) under Ubuntu on all my laptops (currently 3 in use ) for ages.
I find it is easier to generally work in a "one window per desktop" space, and flip (ctrl-alt-left/right in my case) between them, rather than alt-tab or whatever to switch windows in a single workspace. My layout is embedded somewhere in muscle memory, so switching to the window I want is near automatic. (Alt-tab doesn't always work as you'd expect! You need to keep at least half an eye open.)
On my main work machine, I run a horizontal row of 6 desktops. When it's at home, I have an external monitor above the laptop screen.
The six are typically:
File manager (explorer). If I'm home, mapped server file system/s on the top screen. (Deploy = drag'n'drop )
Alternate browser for website testing
IDE of the day. Often a reference/help above.
Command window. ssh prompt on server above.
On this ("social") machine, 4 wide: Browser, text editor for notes, skype/zoom/etc, command/file manager.
I also run "workspace affinity", so that common programs are preassigned to specific workspaces. In conjunction with autostart, I boot straight into a complete environment, ready to run. And if I fire up a music player, I know its window is above the secondary browser...
Software rusts. Simon Stephenson, ca 1994. So does this signature. me, 2012