One basic requirement for those wishing to work with polymer clay is work surface. The plasticizers in polymer clay can damage some surfaces, such as wood and some plastics. In general, it's best to keep uncured clay off of any table or countertops.
Though it is possible to work from a taped-down sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap, if you plan to work with polymer clay extensively, you'll probably want to find a more permanent work surface. A ceramic tile (not an acrylic tile) is a common choice for this purpose. Large tiles make a decent-sized work area that can still be moved from place to place. Smaller tiles fit easily into ovens and allow you to cure your project without moving it onto a cookie sheet.
Other options for work surfaces include sheets of glass (with smoothed edges that won't cut), Plexiglas, and marble slabs or tiles. Marble stays cool, so some people find that clay doesn't stick to it or become too soft and warm during working.
No matter what surface you choose, it is important to choose one that is as smooth as possible. Avoid tiles or cutting boards that have texture. Polymer clay will take on the texture of whatever surface it touches, so unless you want to add texture to your project, look for something as smooth as glass.