I work in a lab doing research. The standard is everyone has their own cube, but that you share bench space with one person. In my case I share with two people. To be honest it hasn't been hard. One of the people does not work at the bench. She stores a few things there, but in the last year she has worked at the the bench once. All her equipment is in a private room.
Recently this coworker complained that she didn't have any bench space. I didn't know why she needed it as she's always at her desk or the private room, but I cleaned the bench, cleared shelf space, and rearranged drawers. We have three chairs and three workspaces. In the month since I cleaned everything this coworker has yet to enter the lab. The bench has reverted to a two person space as there are two people there who legitimately need the space. When she complained again, the third coworker pointed out that this woman has her own private space. It didn't appease her.
Is there more I can do? She has stuff on the bench that I have to work around. As I said, she never uses the stuff so it sits gathering dust. I really want to ask her why she feels the need for a presence on the bench when her job does not require it and I'm tired of her telling people that we don't give her space. Is there a good way to handle it? Others notice that she's never at the bench, so they understand why she doesn't have space.