(NB: adapted from this Ask Ubuntu thread -- tested to work with Ubuntu 16 LTS branches and Ubuntu 17.10)
Unlike using VMWare Tools to enable Linux guest capabilities, the
open-vm-tools package doesn't auto-mount shared VMWare folders. This can be frustrating in various ways, but there's an easy fix.
open-vm-tools and run:
sudo mount -t fuse.vmhgfs-fuse .host:/ /mnt/hgfs -o allow_other