Two out of three people now retire before the age of 60, and four out of 10 go before they hit 55, according to a report produced by Income Data Services.

It is one of the little nuggets thrown up by the independent research body's extensive trawls of the world of work that it is willing to share for free on its web site.

For the most part, IDS charges for its services, and the site operates largely as an extended order form. But if you really want to use the Internet for your own human resources research, you could do worse than invest a few quid in the extensive IDS Study published late last month titled HR Web Sites .

Among its suggested sources of useful information are the Institute for Employment Studies, which offers research summaries and press releases, and the Institute of Management, which goes a step further to offer downloadable documents in full text, employment statistics and such gems as a top 20 management texts.

Given half a chance, I could have spent many a happy 10 minutes browsing through the Employment Appeals Tribunal's database of forthcoming cases. Unfortunately, it had disappeared from the address offered by IDS, and even the Government Information Service appeared to have no listing for it.

If your objective is to share information about your staff, there are networks aplenty - HRNetwork, HR Global Network and HRnet Web Centre are all recommended - but you need to register. And don't be surprised if you discover that your staff have a forum to share their thoughts on your management style.

As one contributor to the pleasingly scurrilous reveals: 'My boss travels frequently and I often package and forward his mail to him. One day, I received a huge overnight package. The items were each marked with Post-it notes, some to file, some to copy and the most to 'trash'.'

These and other sites of interest can be reached via HSJ 's website at